Source: Global Times Published: 2018-7-11
China and Germany have agreed to unequivocally oppose protectionism and safeguard the free trade system based on multilateral rules to promote strong, sustainable and balanced global economic growth.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel co-chaired the fifth round of intergovernmental consultations and made the announcement in Berlin on Monday.
Both leaders of China and Germany agreed to deepen cooperation in finance and economy, make full use of high-level financial dialogue and other mechanisms, strengthen communication in macroeconomic policy and build financing platforms concerning bilateral and third-party markets.
"This is a positive signal that Germany will not join the US' trade war against China and exacerbate a global trade conflict," Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Germany and the EU still have many divergences on trade with China, such as intellectual property, but at least they didn't launch a trade war against China, said Bai.
So compared to the US, who holds strong hostility toward China's development, Germany has a better chance to share the benefits from China's market and development, according to Bai.
While Germany appreciates China's further measures to open its financial market, China supports the construction of Frankfurt financial center and the offshore renminbi market, according to the announcement jointly made by Li and Merkel.
The two countries also agreed to promote bilateral cooperation in economy, trade and investment, jointly safeguard free trade and an international market based on fair and recognized rules and relaxed market access.
China is willing to discuss with the German side to jointly explore the third-party market, and Germany is willing to give full play to its advantages to work with China in Industry 4.0, read the announcement released on Monday.
After the trade war against the world launched by the US, China-Germany cooperation is actually becoming more motivated, according to Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China in Beijing.
In the past, Germany worried about competition with China, and thus felt reluctant to engage in technological cooperation, but the US is now targeting other countries' future strategies on technology innovation, including "Industry 4.0", so Germany is starting to realize the necessity and importance of cooperation with China, Wang told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Even without the impact of the trade war, China would prefer cooperation with Germany rather than the US. China's advantage is manufacturing, and that China and Germany are more complementary, according to Bai.
Wang Yiwei is senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China.