|Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi (R, front) and his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle (L, front) attend the signing ceremony of a statement of intent to further strengthen cooperation between the foreign ministries of China and Germany in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 11, 2012. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)
BEIJING, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- China and Germany held their 3rd foreign minister-level strategic dialogue in Beijing on Thursday, pledging to work together to promote China-Europe ties.
"This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-Germany diplomatic ties. The two countries have made tremendous progress in their relations over the past 40 years," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said at the meeting.
Noting that both China and Germany have great influence in the world, Yang said cooperation between the two countries was significant and promising.
"The two sides should uphold the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit, treating each other equally, and seeking common ground while reserving differences to enhance dialogue, communication and cooperation," he said.
"We should also give consideration to each other's major interests and concerns to ensure a rapid, healthy and stable development of China-Germany relations."
Yang proposed that the two sides should increase high-level contacts and communication in all fields and strengthen political mutual trust. He also said the two sides should implement the results of the second round of Sino-German government talks, expand mutual investment and the scale of bilateral trade and make joint efforts to fight against trade protectionism.
"The two sides should strengthen cooperation under multilateral framework, including the United Nations and G20 and enhance communication and coordination on major international and regional issues," Yang said. "China values Germany's important position in the European Union and is willing to work with Germany to promote China-Europe relations to a higher level."
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle hailed the progress of bilateral relations over the past 40 years during the dialogue.
"Germany attaches great importance to the relationship with China and regards it as important strategic partner of cooperation. Germany hopes to work with China to plan the future for bilateral ties by enhancing political dialogue, promoting cultural exchanges and strengthening cooperation on major issues," he said.
Westerwelle expressed Germany's opposition to trade protectionism and said his country is willing to play a positive role in promoting trade cooperation between the two countries as well as between Europe and China.
During their meeting, Yang expressed deep condolences over the death of German citizens in a recent traffic accident in China and extended sincere sympathy to their families. Westerwelle thanked China for its rescue efforts and careful treatment of the injured.
The two sides also exchanged views on the European economic situation, the European debt crisis, the Syrian situation and the Iran nuclear issue.