Today’s world is faced with three crucial choices while China and Germany, as major countries with global influence, should jointly undertake three major tasks, said visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday. Wang made the statements at a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. Wang said they had candid, in-depth and friendly talks, which boosted mutual trust and generated fruitful results. Today’s world is faced with three crucial choices — between multilateralism and unilateralism, between openness and seclusion, and between cooperation and confrontation, Wang said. The first major task for China and Germany, Wang said, is to promote global unity against the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate world economic recovery. To this end, both countries should continue supporting the work of the World Health Organization (WHO), and say no to erroneous words and deeds that are harmful to global cooperation against COVID-19, he said. In the meantime, both should further implement the consensus of the Group of 20 (G20) summit, provide assistance to less-developed regions including Africa, and in particular help make COVID-19 vaccines, once available, a global public good, Wang said. The pandemic has already caused an impact on the global industrial and supply chain, while so-called “de-coupling” and “de-globalization” will only weaken the momentum of a global economic recovery, he said. China and Germany will maintain openness to each other and strengthen cooperation in such areas as trade and investment, health and hygiene, clean energy and digital economy, so as to contribute to stable operation of the global supply chain, Wang said. In addition, both countries will support each other’s efforts to resume work and production, and continue expanding the “fast track” for people-to-people exchanges, he said. The second major task for China and Germany, Wang said, is to jointly make China-EU relations more stable and mature and lift bilateral ties to an even higher level. China will faithfully support the European integration process through practical actions, remain a trustworthy strategic partner as Europe strives for unity and development, and support a bigger role of Europe in international affairs, he said. Wang said China has high expectations for the development of China-EU relations during Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of this year. Both sides will prepare for important political agenda for the next stage, deepen cooperation in climate change, green development, digital economy and public health, and conclude negotiations of China-EU investment agreement, Wang said. Thirdly, the two countries should work together to practice multilateralism and oppose the waging of a “new Cold War,” Wang said, adding that both countries are opposed to the instigation of confrontation and will strengthen cooperation among multilateral institutions, as well as support the United Nations, the WHO and multilateralism. China-Germany and China-Europe share far more common interests than differences, and are partners rather than rivals, said the Chinese minister, adding China and Europe have different social systems and ideologies, but China is always opposed to the export of ideologies, let alone competition of social systems. Wang said he has invited Maas to China for the second round of meetings on China-Germany high-level cultural exchange mechanism, and proposed a year of cultural exchange on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations. China and Germany have forged a comprehensive strategic partnership. It is very normal to have different views on some issues, the Chinese State Councilor noted. “As long as we adhere to mutual respect, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and to mutual understanding and support on issues concerning our core interests, the two sides will maintain mutual trust; Sino-German relations will go a long way and contribute to world peace, stability and common development,” said Wang. – CGTN
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