Top-level design will further expand China-Germany cooperation

BERLIN, June 12 — Angela Merkel will pay her ninth visit to China on June 12-14 since she became German chancellor in 2005. The frequency of her visits to China is quite rare for a Western country leader and it reflects the depth and width of Sino-German relations.

During her visit, Merkel will co-chair an intergovernmental consultation with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, to further strengthen their top planning for bilateral relations, enrich their comprehensive strategic partnership, and expand and deepen their bilateral cooperation.

Since the mechanism for intergovernmental consultation between China and Germany was established in 2011, both sides have held three rounds of consultation. It is also the first such mechanism established between China and a European country and has become the most important platform for planning and advancing China-Germany cooperation.

How China and Germany will step up their coordination and cooperation under the framework of the Group of 20 (G20) is high on the agenda of the upcoming fourth round of consultation between the two countries, as China will host the G20 summit in September and Germany will host it in 2017.

Facing the weak recovery of the world economy, countries like the United States and Japan have attempted to get rid of their predicament via stronger monetary easing policies, which have generated various negative spillover effects.

China and Germany have always advocated achieving economic growth and sustainable development through innovation and structural reform. Further strengthening macro policy coordination between them will help reinforce the recovery and stability of the world economy.

“Innovation” has been the focus of China-Germany economic and trade cooperation in recent years, and the two countries have decided to push ahead with the establishment of a mutually beneficial “innovation partnership” as their industrial and technological cooperation has deepened.

It is learned that during her visit to China, Merkel will attend a China-Germany economic and technology cooperation forum and a dialogue with business circles and visit a China-Germany high-end industrial park in Shengyang, capital of northeastern China’s Liaoning Province.

Currently, the two countries are vigorously pushing for the docking of China’s “Made In China 2025” blueprint and Germany’s “Industrial 4.0” strategy, and the upcoming intergovernmental consultation will add new contents to the docking.

“Industry 4.0” is the latest industrial trend in Germany which seeks to keep its global competitiveness by integrating conventional industries with information technology, while China has rolled out a “Made in China 2025” strategy to upgrade itself.

There is also great potential for China and Germany to jointly explore a third-party market. With the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank gaining steam, the two countries will jointly boost infrastructure construction in Asia. ‘ Surely the two sides have to deal with some differences in consultation, such as China’s steel capacity and China’s market economy status.

It is believed that cooperation between China and Germany — a weighty member of the European Union — in properly settling the related issues will contribute to sound development of China-Germany and China-EU economic and trade ties.

It should be noted that only 7.6 percent of China’s total steel exports go to the EU market, accounting for 14 percent of the latter’s steel imports. Exaggerating China’s steel overcapacity issue and trade frictions or differences will mar the China-Germany and China-European relations.

EU should stop basing its anti-dumping investigations into Chinese goods on its “surrogate country system” in 2016 under the agreement signed when China joined the World Trade Organization.

EU has refused to fulfill its obligations under the international treaty and what it practices is a “substitute protection.”

Germany is capable of and has the obligation to play an active role in properly solving such issues. It serves German interests and will help expand China-Germany and China-European pragmatic cooperation.

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