BEIJING – China and Germany agreed to increase bilateral cooperation and safeguard free trade in a meeting between the presidents of the two countries, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.
After meeting China’s Xi Jinping in Beijing, Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Monday that China-Germany ties were closer than ever, and that Germany wanted to increase trade and investment in the Asian country.
In his first visit to China as the German president, Steinmeier said he was satisfied with the development of bilateral relations and added that his country was ready to widen agreements with China, reduce differences, boost coordination on international affairs and jointly defend free trade.
“Germany opposes protectionism in any form, (...) the country will continue to promote cooperation between Europe and China and boost connectivity between Eurasia and China,” the German leader said, according to Xinhua.
Xi urged the two sides to continue the “successful experiences” of multi-dimensional association, overcome ideological differences, and “respect each other’s development paths.”
The Chinese president said German companies had taken advantage of opportunities provided by China’s economic reforms, adding that Beijing would continue sharing its development dividend but also expected Berlin to remain open to Chinese investment.
According to Xinhua, Xi said China was ready to build “synergy” between its Belt and Road Initiative and the European Union’s proposed connectivity plan.
China will cooperate with Germany and other countries on projects like its China Railway Express, a goods transport railway service, he added.
In another meeting on the same day, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that, due to efforts from both sides, German companies had been the first beneficiaries of cooperation in the automotive, chemical, and financial industries.