Sino-German strategic dialogue in Berlin: Foreign Minister Gabriel met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi today (26 April) for extensive consultations. The two men met for the first time at the G20 meeting in Bonn this February. Foreign and security policy issues, above all North Korea’s nuclear programme, were on the agenda.
North Korea’s nuclear programme tops the agenda
When it came to international affairs, Germany and China had many interests in common, Foreign Minister Gabriel said upon meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Villa Borsig in Tegel, Berlin. He noted that in times of upheaval both sides had a particularly great interest in strengthening multilateral crisis management processes.
This time the dialogue focused above all on North Korea’s missile programme and the key question of how to stop North Korea from continuing with its nuclear programme in contravention of various international treaties. Both Ministers agreed that a sustainable and enduring solution to the conflict could not be achieved solely by means of sanctions, but only in combination with negotiations. Gabriel commented as follows: “We are very glad that China is also of the opinion that this nuclear programme has to be stopped and that the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula has to be undertaken step by step.”
Step by step – economic relations in a spirit of partnership
The talks also focused on trade relations between Germany and China. Gabriel noted that “China has to open its markets step by step,” but also stated that both sides were in agreement on “the need for a partnership whereby the same conditions apply to Chinese businesses in Germany and Europe as to German businesses in China.” He noted that there were still a considerable number of hurdles to be crossed before this aim was reached, but underscored that it was a common goal being pursued by both countries in cooperation.
More exchange between Germany and China
The bilateral talks also addressed relations as they concern exchange between civil society groups such as citizens, school pupils and students. The two countries are planning to conclude an internship agreement, which should enable young people from Germany and China to experience life in the other country as soon as possible. The existing German-Chinese youth exchange programmes will also continue to receive support.