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China, Germany Pledge to Improve Political Dialogue
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Chinese and German leaders agreed in Beijing Monday to start their first round of strategic dialogue this year, as a way to improve political consultations.


"The intensification of China-Germany ties is an established policy of the Chinese government and serves the common interests of the two countries," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao told visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


During their talks, the two leaders agreed to enhance coordination and cooperation in international affairs. "China supports a bigger role for Germany in multi-lateral organizations, including the UN," Wen said.


"To develop China-Germany strategic partnership has become the common goal of the two countries," Wen said.


Citing China-Germany consultative mechanisms in politics and defense as well as dialogues in law and human rights, Wen said the China-Germany ties have entered "a mature stage."


Wen said China and Germany have solid political foundations and the two countries have no conflicts in basic interests nor unsolved historical issues.


"China firmly supported Germany's efforts in national reunification and the German government, throughout the years, has abided by the one-China policy and has refused to sell weapons to Taiwan," Wen said.


Merkel said Germany hopes to maintain high-level contact with China and have bilateral strategic talks to coordinate their stand on key international and regional issues.


Merkel said Germany and China have already become close partners and Germany, with earnest interest, is closely watching China's development and China's important role in the international arena.


She said her government highly values its ties with China and is devoted to maintaining and developing the previous governments' policies towards China.


She also reiterated that her government will continue to abide by the one-China policy.


Both the leaders highlighted the economic cooperation between the two countries. The trade volume between China and Germany reached US$63.2 billion in 2005.


Wen said the two countries should make full use of established business channels, including the China-Germany high-tech dialogue forum, economic cooperation joint commission and the environment forum, to push for further cooperation between the two sides in energy, infrastructure construction and service trade.


Germany is the largest European investor in China, and more Chinese companies have invested in Germany than any other EU country. "China and Germany share great potential in economic and trade cooperation," said Wen.


Merkel said Germany is ready to further increase cooperation with China in such fields as economy, trade, transport, aerospace, technology transfer and protection of intellectual property.


Germany will push for further cooperation in magnetic levitation rail transport, she said.


The now fully-operational maglev train in Shanghai was an important fruit of technological cooperation between the two countries.


During her stay in Shanghai, the last leg of her China tour, Merkel will ride the maglev line to the Pudong International Airport.


(Xinhua News Agency May 23, 2006)

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