On July 4, Chinese President Xi Jinping published a signed article titled “To Make the World a Better Place” on mainstream German media ahead of his state visit to Germany. The following is the full text of the article:
To Make the World a Better Place
Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
It gives me great pleasure to pay a state visit to Germany again and attend the G20 Hamburg Summit in the height of summer.
My visit coincides with the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Germany. Forty-five years on, our two countries have seen smooth progress in bilateral ties and deepened practical cooperation across the board. During my first state visit to Germany in 2014, the two sides agreed to elevate our relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, opening a new chapter in the history of China-Germany relations.
– The strategic importance of China-Germany relationship continues to grow. Frequent exchanges of high-level visits have boosted mutual understanding and political mutual trust between our two countries. The Joint Program of Action on Cooperation: Shaping Innovation Together published in 2014 has become a master plan guiding the medium-to-long-term development of bilateral ties. The two sides have established the inter-governmental consultation as well as more than 70 other dialogue and cooperation mechanisms at various levels. In particular, the establishment of mechanisms such as the strategic dialogue on diplomacy and security, high level economic and financial dialogue, people-to-people dialogue, security dialogue and the economic advisory committee have added new dimensions to our comprehensive strategic partnership. Our cooperation has also been extended to areas such as space, ocean, the polar regions and cyberspace.
– China-Germany practical cooperation is yielding rich fruits. Germany has stayed as China’s largest trading partner in Europe for 42 years in a row. According to German statistics, two-way trade reached 170 billion euros in 2016 and China became Germany’s largest trading partner for the first time. Germany ranks the top among European countries in terms of technology transfer to China. As of May 2017, China signed with Germany a total of 76.82 billion dollars worth of technology transfer contracts. China-Germany investment cooperation has moved from a one-way street onto a two-way express lane. Cities such as Duisburg and Hamburg have become major hubs on the routes of China-Europe freight trains. Practical cooperation between China and Germany not only sets the pace for China-Europe relations, but also serves as a successful model of win-win cooperation between the world’s most important economies.
– China-Germany cultural and people-to-people exchanges are flourishing. Since 2013, the two countries have successfully held major events ranging from the language year, the year of innovation partnership to the year of youth exchange. China has set up the China Culture Center, 19 Confucius institutes and four Confucius classrooms in Germany, while German institutes in China such as the Goethe-Institut and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst have also been actively engaged in cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides. The 40,000 plus Chinese students studying in Germany make up Germany’s largest group of international students, and there are over 30,000 German experts and 8,200 German students studying in China. More than two million people traveled between China and Germany in 2016. With 91 pairs of sister provinces/states and cities between us, our two countries also enjoy frequent and close exchanges at the subnational level. In November 2016, the two countries signed multiple agreements on football cooperation, marking new progress in this area.
Human society is undergoing great development, profound changes and major adjustments. The trends towards multi-polarity, economic globalization, application of information technologies in societies and cultural diversity have gained greater momentum. While mankind increasingly find ourselves in a community of shared future, we also live in a world fraught with challenges. Regional hotspots, the spread of terrorism, the deficits in peace, development and governance all pose grave challenges to the entire humanity.
As the world’s second and fourth largest economies and key trading nations with major influence, China and Germany, while pursuing our own development, also need to shoulder important responsibility of promoting regional and international peace, stability and prosperity.
An important task of my visit is to have in-depth discussions with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Chancellor Angela Merkel and other German leaders on how to seize the opportunities under the new circumstances to advance our comprehensive strategic partnership in a more coordinated manner with a view to elevating China-Germany relationship to a higher level.
We need to strengthen the top-level planning of our relations and draft the blueprint of its future growth with a more open mind and a broader vision. We need to let our dialogue mechanisms at different levels play a leading role and enhance strategic communication on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues. We need to properly handle differences through equal-footed dialogue and friendly consultation and give each other understanding and support on issues concerning our respective core interests and major concerns.
We need to enhance strategic synergy between “Made in China 2025” and Germany’s “Industry 4.0” with a pioneering, innovative, open and inclusive approach, foster an investment environment of two-way openness and fair competition, deepen practical cooperation in such fields as innovation, the Internet, smart manufacturing, finance, energy, environmental protection and green development, and expand cooperation in third markets. We also need to step up cooperation within the “Belt and Road” framework and jointly contribute to security, stability and prosperity of countries along the routes.
We need to harness the coordination role of the High-Level People-to-People Exchange Dialogue Mechanism, deepen cooperation in education, culture, science and technology, tourism, health, think tanks, media, football and other fields, implement visa-related and other facilitation measures and bring our two peoples closer to each other. I am delighted that, during the visit, I will join Chancellor Angela Merkel at the opening of the Panda Garden at Zoo Berlin. I hope this pair of giant pandas who have already arrived in Berlin will serve as envoys of China-Germany friendship.
We need to step up our coordination and cooperation at the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other international organizations and institutions, commit ourselves to the betterment of international mechanisms and rules and make due contribution to upholding regional stability and world peace, promoting healthy growth of the world economy and forging a community of shared future for mankind.