BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday morning held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the topic of strengthening bilateral relations.
During the conversation, Xi noted that 2017 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Germany and that relations between the two countries have witnessed a comprehensive and in-depth development over recent years.
"We're willing to work together with Germany to push the China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership further forward. As both being two of the world's most important economies and firm advocates of globalization, China and Germany are obliged to push all parties to jointly build an open global economy, maintaining the effectiveness and authoritiveness of multilateral trade rules and systems," Xi said.
Xi added that strengthening cooperation is in the fundamental interests of both countries and the European Union as a whole.
The Chinese president noted that economic and trade cooperation are the key driving force of China-Germany relations and called on both countries to ensure that economic ties are mutually beneficial. Xi called for more high-level financial talks, security dialogues and people-to-people exchanges, among others.
Xi also voiced China's support for Germany to host this year's Group of 20 leaders summit in Hamburg, saying China is willing to work with Germany to ensure the Hamburg summit, on the basis of Hangzhou summit held in China last year, sends out a clear and positive signal for stronger global economic cooperation and governance. Xi called for a global economy that features stronger growth, more effective governance, more open trade and more inclusive development.
In addition, Xi reaffirmed China's support for European integration, saying China and the EU should, from a strategic and long-term point of view, be committed to establishing a partnership defined by peace and growth.
During the telephone conversation, Merkel expressed satisfaction with the development of Germany-China relations. She said Germany speaks highly of the important speech Xi delivered at the World Economic Forum held in January in Davos, Switzerland, supports the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, and appreciates China's support for the upcoming Hamburg G20 summit.
She said Germany is willing to increase high-level exchanges with China, boost economic and trade cooperation, and deepen people-to-people exchanges in a bid to lift their comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level.
Germany, Merkel added, is willing to play a key role in further developing EU-China relations.