Beijing, Berlin should join forces in free trade push: Premier Li

BRUSSELS • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has called for joint efforts to promote trade liberalisation and investment facilitation during his visit to Germany.

In the face of global uncertainties, anti-globalisation sentiment and rising protectionism in the world, China and Germany should continue to promote trade liberalisation and investment facilitation and safeguard the regulations of the World Trade Organisation, Mr Li said during talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

The Chinese Premier is on a two-day official visit to Germany for an annual meeting between the two heads of government, a mechanism that has been in place since 2004.

Mr Li said China hopes that the two countries will work together to offset global uncertainties with a stable bilateral relationship, so as to send positive signals of stability, cooperation and development to regions and the world at large.

Noting that the two countries enjoy complementary economic advantages, Mr Li said China will work to better conjoin the "Made In China 2025" blueprint and Germany's "Industrial 4.0" strategy.

The Chinese Premier called on Germany to help China-developed large-passenger plane C-919 get an airworthiness certificate from the European Union. The twin-engine C-919 made its maiden flight on May 5 in Shanghai with five crew members but no passengers.

The success makes China the fourth jumbo jet producer after the United States, Western Europe and Russia.

Mr Li said China hopes that the two countries will work together to offset global uncertainties with a stable bilateral relationship, so as to send positive signals of stability, cooperation and development to regions and the world at large.

Mr Li noted that China supports Germany in hosting a successful Group of 20 summit scheduled for July in Hamburg, saying China is willing to jointly promote the global economic governance for a strong, sustainable and balanced world economic growth.

When it comes to the European integration process, Mr Li said as a comprehensive strategic partner of the EU, China is glad to see a cohesive, prosperous and stable Europe.

Dr Merkel, in her remarks, noted that bilateral relations enjoy a strong momentum. It is of great significance to maintain close high-level dialogues, considering the current global situation, she said. She expressed appreciation for China's support for the European integration.

Mr Li and Dr Merkel also exchanged views over global and regional issues of common concern.

Germany is the first leg of Mr Li's three-day Europe tour that will also take him to Belgium.

In Brussels, the Chinese Premier will co-chair the 19th China-EU leaders' meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and pay an official visit to Belgium.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Beijing, Berlin should join forces in free trade push: Premier Li'. Print Edition | Subscribe