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President Hu meets German President Koehler
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Chinese President Hu Jintao met on Sunday with German President Horst Koehler, who attended the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympic Games on Saturday night.

The meeting started with Hu welcoming his German counterpart to the Paralympic Games and extending congratulations to German athletes on their "excellent performance" at the Beijing Olympic Games.

During the Aug. 8-24 Olympics, the German squad placed fifth on the gold medal table with 16 golds, and also grabbed 10 silvers and 15 bronzes.

Hu also took the opportunity to thank the German government and people for their support and assistance during the blizzard disaster and the Sichuan earthquake that struck China in the first half of the year.

Koehler said the Beijing Paralympics opening ceremony was superbly organized, and he was particularly impressed by Li Yue, a teenage amputee ballerina from the quake zone of Sichuan who performed at the ceremony.

It is important to pay attention to the long-term impact of disasters, and help those affected people rebuild their faith in life in the reconstruction process, said the German leader.

Both leaders agreed to further promote bilateral relations.

"The Sino-German relations have shown a sound momentum of development, thanks to concerted efforts by both sides," Hu said.

"The Chinese side is ready to work with Germany to push for a long-term, stable and sound development of bilateral ties, on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and through enhancing dialogue, promoting mutual trust, deepening cooperation and properly handling differences," he added.

Koehler responded that the German side attaches great importance to the cooperative relationship between the two countries, and would like to work with China for world peace and development through more exchanges and dialogues.

(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2008)

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