China ready to work with Germany on Covid-19 vaccines: Xi

He hopes EU will be open to Chinese enterprises, urges more cooperation on climate and trade

Chinese President Xi Jinping noted China and Germany have kept communication in a flexible way since the onset of the pandemic, with practical cooperation continuing to advance.
Chinese President Xi Jinping noted China and Germany have kept communication in a flexible way since the onset of the pandemic, with practical cooperation continuing to advance.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • China stands ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Germany on Covid-19 vaccines and push for the vaccines to be fairly distributed as a global public good, especially for the benefit of developing countries, said Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Mr Xi made the remarks on Tuesday in a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Recalling that he and Dr Merkel both attended the Group of 20 summit days ago, Mr Xi noted that both sides advocate upholding multilateralism, boosting international cooperation, joining forces against the coronavirus disease, reinvigorating the world economy, and jointly tackling global challenges.

Currently, with Europe and some other regions of the world facing the test of a second wave of the pandemic, it remains a top priority for all parties to work together to fight the spread, Mr Xi stressed.

Since the onset of the pandemic, he noted, China and Germany have kept communication in a flexible way, with practical cooperation continuing to advance.

China is actively fostering a new development pattern and steadfastly expanding domestic demand and opening up, which will bring new opportunities to Germany, Mr Xi pointed out, adding that China also hopes Germany and the European Union will be open to Chinese enterprises.

He suggested the two sides maintain mutual respect and always stick to the overall direction of dialogue and cooperation, and the general principle of mutual benefit.

He also conveyed his hope that the new round of China-Germany intergovernmental consultations will make plans for the two countries' cooperation in various fields.

Pointing out that China-EU cooperation is gaining more global and strategic significance amid a complicated international situation, Mr Xi said the two sides need to enhance mutual trust and cooperation, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, safeguard multilateralism and improve global governance.

China is ready to maintain continuous close communication with the EU on their major agendas for the next phase and to strive to conclude China-EU investment treaty negotiations as scheduled, he said.

Mr Xi also called for joint efforts to promote the establishment of China-EU dialogue mechanisms on the environment and climate as well as digital cooperation, and inject robust impetus into the development of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership under the new circumstances.

Dr Merkel noted that the world is undergoing profound changes and that Europe is facing the impact of another wave of the pandemic.

The fact that China has done a good job in Covid-19 prevention and control and taken the lead in economic recovery is good news for German enterprises, she said, expressing the hope that both sides will increase communication on vaccine cooperation and push forward cooperation in such fields as trade, investment and new-energy vehicles.

Germany also congratulates China on having signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade deal with relevant parties, and hopes to step up efforts with China to push for concluding negotiations on the EU-China investment treaty by the end of this year.

Dr Merkel said Germany highly appreciates China's announcement of its medium-and long-term targets and visions for climate change response, and hopes to deepen bilateral cooperation in such areas as climate change and ecological environment.

Germany stands ready to continue to maintain close communication with China over major Germany-China and EU-China political agendas for the next phase, she said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 26, 2020, with the headline 'China ready to work with Germany on Covid-19 vaccines: Xi'. Print Edition | Subscribe