Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's just-completed official visit to Hungary, Britain and Germany has contributed to enhancing China's exchange and cooperative relations with the three countries, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said on Wednesday.
Given the current complex international situation and the uncertainties and instability concerning the world economic recovery, Yang said, China and Europe, both at a critical stage in their respective developments, face common challenges and shoulder common responsibilities.
Hailing the broad prospect of the China-Europe relations, Yang said China and the three countries, as well as Europe at large, share the same hope of strengthening communications and cooperation and boosting common development, which also was the goal of Premier Wen's visit.
BRINGING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP WITH GERMANY INTO NEW STAGE
Yang lauded the frequent exchanges of high-level visits between China and Germany over the past years, and their deepened mutual understanding and cooperation in fighting the international financial crisis. He said that bilateral ties face new opportunities for development.
In the first round of intergovernmental consultations between China and Germany, which was established to comprehensively advance their strategic partnership, Wen met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German President Christian Wulff.
The premier also attended the Sixth Chinese-German Forum for Economic and Technological Cooperation during his stay in Germany, Yang said.
Yang spoke highly of the unprecedented scale, extensive topics as well as the effectiveness of the consultation. He said that more than 20 ministers from the two sides attended consultations with their counterparts.
Quoting Wen's remarks during the consultation, Yang said both China and Germany aim to lift cooperation and exchanges in various fields to a higher level through this mechanism, and it is in the fundamental interests of both sides and will make a positive impact on the world.
Merkel, for her part, said the consultation has laid an even more solid foundation for the development of bilateral ties; and Germany is willing to work closely with China to fully implement the results of the consultation so as to bring bilateral relations to a new stage, Yang said.
During the consultation, the two sides agreed to expand trade and investment with the aim of attaining the goal of 280 billion U.S. dollars in trade volume by 2015. Also, they decided to forge a strategic partnership on electric vehicle and to expand cooperation in new energy, energy conservation, environmental protection and energy efficiency.
Meanwhile, China has decided to set up a 2-billion-euro (2.8-billion-dollar) special loan to support cooperation between small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The two sides also worked out a five-year agricultural cooperation plan, and pledged to improve an innovation and cooperation platform in such fields as life science, establish vocational education cooperation alliance and carry out exchanges on hospital management. They also vowed joint efforts to successfully hold the Chinese Culture Year in Germany in 2012 and strengthen youth exchanges.
Representatives from the two sides inked a series of cooperative documents and economic agreements worth over 15 billion U.S. dollars.
During his speech at the Sixth Chinese-German Forum for Economic and Technological Cooperation, Wen made a series of proposal to further expand trade and two-way investment, strengthen technological cooperation, and cooperation on new energy, energy conservation and environmental protection and between SMEs, as well as exchanges between the two peoples, Yang said.
GIVING IMPETUS TO CHINA-BRITAIN RELATIONS
Praising the favorable development momentum of the China-Britain relations, their strategic partnership as well as the dialogue mechanism, Yang said bilateral ties face new opportunities. That's as the two sides mark next year the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level, and London will hold the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
During meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Wen stressed that the two sides should view their relationship from a strategic perspective and expand common interests and address differences properly, Yang said.
The Chinese premier meanwhile proposed to set up a working group to promote bilateral investment, a forum on cooperation between the SMEs of the two sides, R&D centers and joint laboratories. The effort also would include support for Chinese enterprises to participate in infrastructure construction in Britain and it would encourage Chinese financial institutions to expand operations in Britain, Yang said.
Agreeing with Wen's opinions on enhancing cooperation, the British leaders expressed hope that both sides could further open markets to each other so as to jointly boost economic growth, Yang said.
During Premier Wen's stay in Britain, the two sides signed 12 cooperative documents worth over 4 billion dollars. They also pledged to establish a high-level people-to-people exchange mechanism, Yang said, adding that the visit was characterized by extensive and in-depth exchanges.
Before the trip to Britain, Wen wrote a commentary in the British newspaper Financial Times, elaborating on China's measures against the financial crisis and its confidence in economic growth. While in the UK, the Chinese leader addressed the Royal Society in London, expounding on China's policies and future path, Yang said.
During his stay, Wen also met with former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and praised their efforts in boosting China-Britain relations.
Wen also visited the birthplace of renowned British playwright William Shakespeare, where he emphasized the importance of understanding and respecting a country's history and the creation of its people in strengthening friendship.
He also toured MG Motor, the first Chinese automaker to mass produce cars for sale in Europe and America, and while there called for closer cooperation between Chinese and British companies, Yang said.
EXPANDING COOPERATION WITH HUNGARY, CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE
Yang said Hungary was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with China. Since then, the two sides have enjoyed a deep traditional friendship and stable mutual political trust, and have had a favorable basis for cooperation.
Hungary has become China's largest investment destination and most crucial trading partner in central and eastern Europe, Yang said.
In Budapest, Wen met his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban, President Pal Schmitt and Parliament Speaker Laszlo Kover and exchanged views with the leaders on the promotion of ties.
China has offered to buy some of Hungary's sovereign debt and provide a special loan of 1 billion euros (about 1.44 billion dollars) to support joint ventures between enterprises from the two countries, Yang said.
Wen called on the two sides to give full play to the roles of entrepreneurs councils of both countries and the China-Hungary economic and trade forum. That's to promote corporate, personnel and information exchanges, and to steadily increase the bilateral trade volume to an annual total of 20 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.
The premier also invited young Hungarians to visit China and promised to speed up the establishment of cultural centers in both countries.
During Wen's stay, the two sides signed cooperation deals covering investment, infrastructure, finance, logistics and culture worth 1.8 billion dollars.
Premier Wen also visited Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, where he stressed that the China-Hungary friendship and cooperation rely, after all, on the younger generation.
During the visit, Wen made an address to the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Economic and Trade Forum. There he stressed that China and the central and eastern European countries can be good friends who stand by each other through thick and thin and also are partners that draw on each other's strengths and pursue win-win cooperation, Yang said.
Wen called on both sides to create new ways of cooperation, enrich the content of cooperation, and enlarge the scale, widen the range and upgrade the level of economic and trade cooperation, Yang added.
ENRICHING CHINA-EUROPEAN STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Yang said China pays close attention to developing ties with Europe. The three European countries that Premier Wen visited are all prominent forces for the promotion of China-Europe friendly cooperation.
Wen said during his three-nation tour that China and Europe share broad common interests, and their economies are supplementary to each other. He said, too, that their cultures distinguished; and both sides should respect and trust each other, consult with each other on an equal basis, and continue to enrich the connotations of a comprehensive strategic partnership.
With confidence in Europe's economic rejuvenation, China holds a positive attitude toward Europe's sovereign debt crisis, and is ready to face up to the challenges with Europe, share opportunities and jointly map out future development, Yang quoted the Chinese premier as saying.
Leaders of the three European countries hailed the significance of Wen's visit, and vowed to strengthen mutual trust and deepen cooperation with China in various fields, Yang said.
Wen's visit was a successful tour of communication and cooperation, which greatly promotes China ties with the three countries as well as with Europe at large, and will have a positive impact on regional and world peace, stability and development.
The Chinese premier paid the official visit to Hungary, Britain and Germany on June 24-28.