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Merkel Visit Will Strengthen Ties
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel's August 26-29 visit to

China will deepen bilateral cooperation, the German ambassador to China, Volker Stanzel, told a press conference yesterday.


Merkel will inaugurate a three-year program, "Germany and China-Moving Ahead Together," in Beijing from where it will move to major provincial hubs such as Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, Stanzel said.


"As the largest government program to present Germany in China, the campaign will offer the Chinese people a real chance to understand German life in a wide range of fields such as architecture culture, lifestyle and the environment.


"From then on, every six months one of China's fast-growing second-tier cities such as Nanjing and Chengdu will be targeted by the program until it ends at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai," he said.


President Hu Jintao agreed with his German counterpart Horst Kohler on the mobile program during their meeting in Beijing in May, Stanzel said.


The program kicks off at the Beijing Book Fair where Germany has been made the guest country.


Merkel's visit is of great importance, he said, stressing that "both sides feel the need for more regular exchanges." They already have high-level meetings to strengthen bilateral ties.


Top leaders of the two countries keep in touch over the phone to discuss bilateral and global issues, he said.


Merkel is expected to hold talks with President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao. During her four-day trip to China, she will also visit Nanjing.


(China Daily August 21, 2007)

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