Bond of destiny
[Zhong Jinye/For China Daily]
China, Germany to embrace new opportunities for cooperation
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Germany have maintained high-level communication, highlighting the close ties between the two countries and their shared desire to strengthen cooperation in the fight against the novel coronavirus and overcome the challenges caused by its outbreak.
The governments, as well as enterprises and social organizations of the two countries, donated anti-pandemic materials to help each other, and medical and health experts of the two sides have held many video seminars and exchanges. The two countries have also strengthened their exchange and cooperation on the development of vaccines against the virus, with Chinese and German enterprises jointly carrying out vaccine and drug research and development.
China has also facilitated Germany's official purchasing of medical equipment. A large amount of pandemic prevention materials have been transported from China to Germany both by air and through the China-Europe Railway Express service, dubbed "the steel camel", continuously strengthening the "lifesaving channel" and "bond of destiny" between the two countries in the anti-pandemic fight.
The people of the two countries also spontaneously supported each other, creating many touching stories. Many sister cities between China and Germany have become closer, and the friendship between the two peoples has been deepened.
At present, China-Germany ties are bursting with fresh vitality and potential and ushering in new opportunities. As the pandemic situation in China stabilizes and there are positive signs that its economy is picking up, the China-Germany pragmatic cooperation suggests that economic recovery is accelerating in the two countries.
The two countries have taken the lead in opening a green channel for personnel exchanges between China and Europe, and thousands of employees from German enterprises have successfully returned to China.
During the third China International Import Expo in November, there were nearly 200 German enterprises participating in the event despite the challenges created by the pandemic.
Germany is China's largest trading partner in the European Union, and China has been Germany's largest trading partner for the past four consecutive years.
Against the background of a sharp decline in global trade, China remained Germany's largest trading partner in the first three quarters of this year, with the bilateral trade volume $135.7 billion, which was almost the same as that during the same period last year.
China's huge market is increasingly becoming an important driving force for Germany's economy to step out of the dark shadow cast by the pandemic.
The Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee, which concluded recently, made comprehensive proposals for China's development during 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period and outlined long-range objectives through 2035. As China is entering a new stage of development, it will firmly implement the new development concept and actively build a new development pattern marked by domestic circulation as the mainstay with domestic and international circulations complementing each other.
China has officially signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, which has once again delivered a positive and clear signal of its commitment to free trade and economic globalization.
At present, China and the European Union are speeding up the negotiation process to realize an investment agreement as scheduled in order to promote the liberalization and facilitation of their trade and investment. China will unswervingly expand its opening-up to the outside world, enhance the interaction of domestic and international economy, and drive the recovery of the world with its own recovery.
China is willing to share the opportunities of a huge market, free trade, common development, and cooperation in innovation during China's new round of opening-up with other countries, including Germany.
Enterprises of the two countries have competed to seize the opportunities created. China's new energy vehicle battery supplier SVOLT Energy Technology has actively invested in Germany. Other Chinese enterprises such as Xiaomi, an innovation-driven technology company, have also expanded their presence in Germany. German auto giants such as Volkswagen and BMW, have accelerated their localization strategy in the new energy sector in China.
As new business forms and new models emerge and new development potential is continuously released, the China-Germany and China-EU cooperation are ascendant in various fields.
Addressing climate change is one of the cooperation fields with most potential between China and Germany and between China and the EU. It is facing new opportunities and strong momentum.
In this year's United Nations General Assembly, President Xi Jinping announced that China will enhance the country's independent contribution, pledging the country to have CO2 emissions peak by 2030 and achieve carbon neutral by 2060. This solemn commitment embodies China's great responsibility in the field of environmental protection.
Germany and Europe are pioneers of global environmental protection and climate change initiatives. They boast advanced technology and rich experience in energy transformation, low-carbon technology, energy conservation and emissions reduction.
China and the EU have decided to establish high-level dialogues on the environment and climate, as well as on the digital field, to develop partnership in the low-carbon and digital sectors.
Next year, China will hold the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 15) in Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan province. It is believed the two countries will plan for bilateral cooperation in various fields ahead of the meeting.
Amid the current changes of international situation, China-EU relations are getting more global and strategic. Both sides should strive to enhance mutual trust and cooperation, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, safeguard multilateralism and improve global governance.
China is willing to work with Germany and Europe to inject new impetus and create new opportunities for the development of China-Germany and China-EU relations in a new situation.
The author is the Chinese ambassador to Germany. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.