Talks Between Premier Zhu Rongji and German Prime Minister Schoder
On 4 Nov. 1999, Premier Zhu Rongji of the State Council of China had talks with the visiting Prime Minister of Germany at the Great Hall of the People. The two heads of government had an in-depth exchange of views on how to further develop the bilateral relations and other issues of mutual interest, and they reached broad consensus on these issues.
First, Premier Zhu warmly welcomed the German Prime Minister. He said that he believed that his official visit to China would definitely contribute to further development of China-Germany relations. The two sides were satisfied with their cooperation in the political, economic, scientific and technological, educational, cultural and other fields. They agreed that enhanced coop4eration between them in all areas, including consultation and cooperation on major international issues, served the interests of their peoples and conduced to world peace and stability.
Premier Zhu said that thanks to the joint efforts, the cooperation between the two countries in various fields had yielded rich fruits, expanded both in depth and width, and maintained a good development momentum. Leaders of the two countries maintained frequent contacts. And their parliaments and states or provinces were engaged in buoyant exchanges. Germany remained China's largest trading partner in Europe and its largest partner for cooperation in polytechnic education. China imported technologies more from Germany than from any other single country in the world. Zhu expressed his hope that this development momentum of the bilateral relations would continue.
Premier Zhu emphatically told the German side that China attached importance to its relations with Germany and its policy of vigorously pushing forward this relationship would not change, no matter which Party might be in power. Since his assumption of the post of Prime Minister of Germany, Mr. Schoder had actively advocated better relations with China and maintained the continuity of the German policy towards China, for which Premier Zhu expressed his appreciation. He believed that China-Germany relations would develop further and more rapidly.
Mr. Schoder expressed his hearty thanks to the host for the kind invitation and warm reception that the Chinese side had accorded to him. He said that Germany and China enjoyed very good relations with each other and their peoples a traditional friendship. In recent years, the two countries had developed amicable ties and cooperation smoothly in various fields and engaged themselves in dialogue and cooperation in a wide range of areas on the basis of mutual respect. Their young people had maintained exchanges and contacts. Many young Chinese were studying in Germany. He was pleased and satisfied to see the friendship and cooperation develop in such a manner between the two countries.
With regard to the trade and economic ties between the two countries, Premier Zhu expressed his hope that the two sides would work together to tap the huge potential in this area. The Chinese side would like to see closer cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises of the two countries, and it would like to gradually expand this cooperation in the financial, insurance and other service sectors, depending on the maturity of the Chinese market. He appreciated the proposal advanced by Mr. Schoder about closer cooperation between the two countries in environmental protection. Zhu explained China's position on its entry into the WTO and hoped that Germany would play a positive role in urging the EU to lift restrictions on trade with China as early as possible. Mr. Schoder agreed that Germany-China trade and economic relations had developed satisfactorily and the cooperation between their large enterprises very smoothly. He echoed that closer cooperation between their small and medium-sized enterprises could become a useful supplement to their existing cooperation. He said that Germany hoped to have closer cooperation with China in the service sector. Since China was a big Asian country and an important cooperation partner of Germany, he hoped to see China become a member of the WTO at an earlier date. He proposed that the two countries enhance their cooperation in environmental protection.
The two sides spoke positively about the fruitful dialogue between the two countries in many areas, including their dialogue on human rights. Mr. Schoder expressed the German desire to continue the legal dialogue and cooperation with China on the basis of mutual respect. Premier Zhu responded to his remarks with the statement that as such dialogue helped increase mutual understanding and expand common consensus, the Chinese side attached importance to international cooperation in human rights.
The German Prime Minister started his official visit to China on 2 Nov. 1999 at the invitation of Premier Zhu Rongji.