BEIJING—Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday exchanged views with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on major bilateral issues. After the closed-door meeting, Wen said this year, the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, was very important for bilateral relations.
The two countries have arranged a variety of high-level visits as well as a series of large scale economic and cultural exchange activities for 2012.
These exchanges programs have great significance for deepening bilateral mutual trust and improving bilateral coordination on coping with the complicated international political and economic situation, so as to safeguard common interests of the two countries, said Wen. Calling Merkel's visit is focusing on future, Wen said he was willing to work with Merkel to advance bilateral friendly cooperation. Merkel said Germany will host the Chinese Culture Year, which is an opportunity to promote mutual understanding and exchanges between the two countries.
She praised the sound economic cooperation between Germany and China and called on the two sides to create good conditions for business operations in each other's country. Merkel arrived in Beijing on Thursday, starting a three-day official visit to China. China is the first country that Merkel has visited this year outside Europe, while she is the first foreign leader China has received after the traditional Chinese New Year which began on Jan. 23.—Xinhua