The 5th German-Chinese intergovernmental consultations (9/10 July) ended with the adoption of a comprehensive joint declaration entitled “Responsible partners for a better world”. In the 71 chapters of the declaration, Germany and China commit, among other things, to the primacy of the rules-based international order, the human rights agreements signed by both sides, and support for the United Nations and its goals. The Chinese side welcomed Germany’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2019-20 term. Both countries confirmed their will to work together in the Security Council to prevent and to resolve international conflicts.
China and Germany agreed to work together to strengthen multilateral organisations, formats and approaches. China also underscored the importance of the European Union for peace and stability in Europe and the world. It wants to further develop the strategic partnership with the EU. An EU-China summit will take place in Beijing on 16 July to discuss this.
In addition, Germany and China reaffirmed their commitment to resolving international conflicts by diplomatic means. Both countries support, for example, international efforts to bring about peace and reconciliation in Syria and Afghanistan, efforts to find a political settlement on the issue of the Korean peninsula and the goals of the Paris climate agreement. They also intend to work to keep the nuclear deal with Iran (JCPoA) alive.
Ambitious goals on free trade and opening up markets to each other
The two sides agreed that open markets, free trade and equal market access are of great importance for mutual relations but also for the global economy as a whole. Germany and China reject all forms of protectionism and are committed to resolving trade disputes using established WTO mechanisms.
In order to deepen technological and economic cooperation, the responsible ministries of the two countries signed a joint declaration of intent in the field of automated and networked driving systems. At a presentation on the former Tempelhof Airport grounds, the Federal Chancellor and the Chinese Premier got a first-hand look at progress and developments in this area.
The intergovernmental consultations also saw the signing of a declaration of intent on the development of a joint international research college, as well as of almost a dozen other agreements on economic cooperation projects and joint development projects. Moreover, Germany and China agreed that their missions in other countries would cooperate more closely, for instance by organising joint events and other cooperation projects. Collaboration to protect their citizens abroad, for instance in the event of natural disasters, is also to be intensified. In addition, the two countries concluded a new agreement on the exchange of interns in order both to further enhance the transfer of know-how and to improve mutual awareness.
The German-Chinese intergovernmental consultations have been taking place at the highest level since 2011
The German-Chinese intergovernmental consultations have been taking place since 2011. The talks aim to deepen the diverse, intensive cooperation between the two countries and since 2014 have focused on joint innovation.
The heart of this year’s consultations was the meeting of the two government delegations in the Federal Chancellery under the co-chairmanship of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Numerous bilateral ministerial meetings also took place. On the Chinese side, twelve ministers, a member of the State Council and the head of the central bank participated in the talks; a large number of German ministers also took part.
The Federal Foreign Office and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinate the consultations and are responsible for reviewing the results. Minister of State Annen is presenting the results of the consultations to the Cabinet today (11 July).
The next German-Chinese intergovernmental consultations will be held in Beijing in 2020.