Merkel Calls for Closer Ties Between Germany, China

Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel says China and Germany should work together for better understanding and for new ideas and changes in the world.

Addressing an audience at the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing Thursday, Chancellor Merkel stressed that China is one of Europe's most important economic partners. She also sought to explain the monetary crisis troubling Europe's common currency, the euro.

“The common currency means that we need to face and fight against the crisis together. It also means we need more supportive economic policy measures and stronger creative ideas. With these available, the whole of Europe will become more united in the coming years and Germany will get more involved in these efforts. We may say that Europe is seeking common development in the crisis.”

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday said China is considering increasing its participation in the rescue funds aimed at resolving the European debt crisis.

Chancellor Merkel told reporters she discussed Iran with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen earlier in the day. She said she urged China to use its influence to persuade Tehran to renounce possible nuclear weapons ambitions. China, the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, has so far refused to join the European Union's oil embargo on Tehran.

Ms. Merkel's visit to China, which started Thursday, has sparked attention in the country's business and cultural circles. An executive of Sany Group in China expressed hope for improved cooperation between his country and Germany.

“We hope the Chinese and German governments will help strengthen the exchange and understanding among enterprises and non-governmental organizations in both countries so as to lay a solid social foundation for future cooperation between the two countries.”

Ms. Merkel is scheduled to meet with President Hu Friday and also will travel to Guangzhou, a southern commercial city, to attend a Sino-German business forum.