In 2013, the relationship between the People's Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Germany continued to grow steadily. Leaders of the two countries had close interactions, and practical cooperation in business, cultural, scientific, educational and military fields and peopleto- people exchanges were fruitful.
Leaders of the two countries had frequent interactions. On 6 September, President Xi Jinping had a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, during which they exchanged views on China-Germany relations and international and regional hotspot issues of common interest. On 15 and 18 March, Premier Li Keqiang spoke with Chancellor Merkel on the phone and the latter congratulated Premier Li on taking office. From 25 to 27 May, Premier Li paid an official visit to Germany. During the visit, he met with Federal President Joachim Gauck. He also held smallgroup and large-group talks with Chancellor Merkel, during which they exchanged views on the bilateral political and economic relations, the eurozone situation, climate change and international hotspot issues such as the Iranian nuclear issue and Syria, and reached important agreement on deepening the China-Germany strategic partnership. The two prime ministers attended the launching ceremony of the China-Germany Year of Language program, met with Chinese and foreign press together and witnessed the signing of five intergovernmental agreements concerning energy conservation, environmental protection, investment, agriculture and education as well as 12 commercial contracts with a total value of RMB 52.1 billion. On 26 May, the two countries issued the Joint Statement of China and Germany on the Visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Germany. On 27 May, Premier Li attended the luncheon hosted by Chinese and German business leaders and delivered an important speech entitled "Work Together to Open a New Chapter in China-Germany Cooperation", describing China's economic situation, articulating the economic policies of the new Chinese government, and putting forward new propositions to deepen China-Germany and China-Europe cooperation. On 23 September, Premier Li had a phone call with Chancellor Merkel, congratulating the Union for winning the general election under her leadership.
On 15 March, President Gauck and Chancellor Merkel sent telegrams of congratulations to President Xi Jinping on his election. President Xi expressed his appreciation in the reply letters to them on 16 and 22 March. On 22 October, Chancellor Merkel wrote to President Xi, proposing that China and Germany work together to set up an offshore Renminbi center in Frankfurt a.M. On 15 November, President Xi sent a letter in reply to Chancellor Merkel, stating that China places high importance on its financial cooperation with Germany and welcomes Frankfurt a.M to become one of the Renminbi offshore centers in Europe. On 20 April, President Gauck and Chancellor Merkel sent messages of condolences to President Xi and Premier Li respectively over the strong earthquake in Lushan, Sichuan Province. On the same day, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle issued a statement on the website of the German Federal Foreign Office, expressing sadness over the losses caused by the Lushan earthquake. President Xi and Premier Li sent messages of appreciation to President Gauck and Chancellor Merkel respectively. On 27 August, President Gauck sent a message of deep condolences over the natural disasters in China's southern and northeastern regions.
The two foreign ministries had smooth cooperation and communication. On 16 March, German Foreign Minister Westerwelle sent letters to State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on their assumption of office. On 18 and 20 March, State Councilor Yang and Foreign Minister Wang exchanged views on bilateral relations over the phone with Minister Westerwelle respectively. On 26 May, Foreign Minister Wang had an unofficial meeting with Foreign Minister Westerwelle in Berlin, during which they had an in-depth exchange of opinions on China-Germany relations, cooperation between the two foreign ministries and international hotspot issues. On 29 August, Foreign Minister Wang had a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Westerwelle, exchanging views on the Syrian issue. On 26 September, Foreign Minister Wang met with Foreign Minister Westerwelle on the sidelines of the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly and exchanged views on China-Germany relations, the Syrian issue and the Iranian nuclear issue. From 1 to 3 February, Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao attended the 49th Munich Security Conference in Germany. On 6 May, Vice Foreign Minister Song attended the viceministerial- level political consultations in Germany and had talks with State Secretary of the German Federal Foreign Office Emily Haber and Chancellor Merkel's foreign policy advisor Christoph Heusgen. On 10 June, the two sides exchanged views on issues of common interest, including the China-EU trade dispute on photovoltaic products and the G8 Summit.
Exchanges between legislatures and political parties of the two countries continued to deepen. On 26 March, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Wang Qishan met with Chairman of the Union Parliamentary Group of Germany Volker Kauder. On 25 March, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee Wang Jiarui and Vice Minister Song Tao met with Chairman Kauder separately. From 23 to 24 May, CPPCC Vice Chairman Su Rong attended the ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the SPD as the representative of the CPC. From 27 to 30 May, CPPCC Vice Chairperson and Chairperson of the Taiwan Democratic Self-government League Lin Wenyi visited Germany. On 31 May, CPPCC Vice Chairman Liu Xiaofeng met with visiting Governor of State Thyringia Christine Lieberknecht of Germany. On 2 and 3 July, NPC Vice Chairman Zhang Ping and CPPCC Vice Chairman Wan Gang had separate meetings with Johannes Pflug, Chairman of the German- Chinese Parliamentary Friendship Group of the German Bundestag, who came to China for the second meeting of the China-Germany regular interparliamentary exchange mechanism. From 8 to 10 July, Hu Chunhua, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Provincial Committee of Guangdong, visited Germany as head of a CPC delegation.
Business and cultural cooperation as well as people-to-people exchanges between China and Germany continued to bear fruit. On 14 January, the Chinese Culture Year activities in Germany were concluded in Berlin. On 26 May, the China-Germany Year of Language program was launched and Premier Li Keqiang and Chancellor Merkel attended the launching ceremony. From 23 to 29 October, the 2013 Germany · China Tibetan Culture Week, co-sponsored by the State Council Information Office, the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region and the Chinese Embassy, was held in Germany. Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and CPPCC Chairman, sent a letter of congratulations on the event.
Cooperation in military, security and legal fields and between the youth, media and local governments made solid progress. On 25 January, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety held the fourth Sino-German Environment Forum in Berlin, and Vice Minister of Environmental Protection Zhou Jian addressed the opening ceremony of the forum. On 25 March, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun met with Joachim Herrmann, Minister of Interior of the State of Bavaria of Germany. On the same day, Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei held talks with Minister Herrmann. On 7 April, Assistant Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu met with deputy editor-in-chief and head of Foreign News Services of DPA Michael Ludewig. From 8 to 9 April, the 13th symposium under the Sino-German Dialogue on Rule of Law was held in Hangzhou, and Minister of Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council Song Dahan and German Federal Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger attended the symposium. On 9 May, Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei met with visiting President of the Bundesnachrichtendienst Gerhard Schindler, and exchanged views with him on strengthening inter-departmental cooperation, sharing intelligence on counter-terrorism and the situation in hotspot regions. From 14 to 15 May, the 11th China-Germany Dialogue on Human Rights was held in Ningxia, and the two sides exchanged views on new progress made in human rights, discrimination against minorities, racial discrimination, the impact of the European debt crisis on human rights, etc. From 3 to 4 July, the 2013 conference of the Sino-German Dialogue Forumwas held in Stuttgart, Germany. On 28 October, Premier Li Keqiang met with President of the Germany-China Association of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg Rainer Dold and other friendly personages from Germany in Beijing. On 7 November, the sixth China-Germany defense strategic consultation was held in Beijing, co-chaired by Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief of the PLA General Staff, and Lieutenant General Peter Schezig, Deputy Inspector-General of the Federal Defense Forces of Germany.
By the end of 2013, there were 72 pairs of sister provinces/states/ cities between China and Germany, three pairs more than the year before.
On 11 October, new German Ambassador Michael Clauss presented his credentials to President Xi Jinping.