BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that as two major economies and countries with influence, both China and Germany stand for multilateralism and free trade, and the two countries need to set an example for open, mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation.
Li made the remarks when co-chairing the sixth China-Germany inter-governmental consultation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel via video link in Beijing.
The inter-governmental consultation has served as the "super engine" in driving overall practical cooperation between China and Germany, said Li, adding that despite COVID-19, the consultation is being held in a special way of "cloud dialogue" and attended by 25 ministers from both sides, the largest in number in recent years.
"This fully shows how much importance both countries place on the bilateral relationship and cooperation," he added.
Li said in the face of a major pandemic, the international community must send a strong message of cooperation and show the strength of unity.
"Only with unity and cooperation can countries around the world defeat the virus confronting humanity, and only with unity and cooperation can we boost the recovery and growth of the world economy," Li said.
Noting the fresh progress in China-Germany cooperation over the past two-plus years since the last round of consultation, Li said China has been widening its opening up with a range of new measures, and both German companies and other foreign firms have benefited.
Li said despite the impact of COVID-19, trade between the two countries has kept growing, which is strong proof of the strength and potential of cooperation between the two countries. Such cooperation has delivered real benefits to the two peoples, and contributed to the stability of global industrial and supply chains, he added.
Li underlined that despite the fact that the two countries have different views on some issues, both sides need to respect each other's core interests and major concerns, engage in communication and exchanges on the basis of equality and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.
Li called on the two countries to enhance trust, dispel misgivings, narrow differences and concentrate on cooperation, saying that this will create enabling conditions for smooth dialogue and cooperation going forward.
Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of China-Germany diplomatic relations.
The Chinese Premier said the two countries need to set sight on their cooperation in the next five decades, keep up sincere and win-win cooperation, and remove unnecessary disturbances to ensure the sound and steady growth of China-Germany relations in the long run.
In her opening remarks, Chancellor Merkel said that, thanks to the inter-governmental consultation, bilateral cooperation covering foreign affairs, trade, agriculture, social progress, food safety, sustainable development and climate response has made new progress in both breadth and depth, and she expressed the hope that the consultation as a mechanism will continue.
Noting that both China and Germany have played an important role in the global response to COVID-19, Merkel said Germany is ready to advance its cooperation with China on vaccine production and mutual recognition.
She said the Comprehensive Investment Agreement between the EU and China is transparent and reciprocal, and will provide more safeguards for economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.
Germany and China are comprehensive strategic partners, and Germany hopes to maintain dialogue and exchanges with China to further increase mutual understanding, Merkel said. Enditem