Xi, Merkel meetings productive
President, German leader find many points of consensus during visit
China and Germany signed a number of documents on Wednesday to boost cooperation in such areas as investment, trade, aerospace and panda protection during President Xi Jinping’s second state visit to the European country.
Meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Xi said that as the world’s second- and fourth-largest economies, China and Germany are two great forces with significant influence on the stability of Eurasia.
The conversation with Merkel was productive, Xi told reporters afterward, noting that he had reached many new points of agreement with the German leader on such issues as enhancing political trust, boosting pragmatic cooperation and strengthening collaboration on global affairs.
The t wo leaders also exchanged views on regional and global issues, including Syria and the Korean Peninsula, Xi said.
Xi arrived in Berlin on Tuesday for his second state visit to Germany. The first was in March 2014. It is the second stop of Xi’s European tour, which also took him to Russia. While in Germany, he will travel to Hamburg to attend the G20 Summit.
The president said that China and Germany will make joint efforts to push projects forward under the Belt and Road Initiative and explore third-party markets, since the interconnection of Eurasia will bring major opportunities.
In an early signal, major European aircraft manufacturer Airbus announced on Wednesday that it had signed a deal with China Aviation Supplies Holding Co to supply 100 A320 and 40 A350 aircraft. The deal was valued at about $22.8 billion.
Noting that the two countries had signed a document to cooperate on a hydropower project in Angola, Merkel said Germany is willing to participate in such projects under the Belt and Road framework.
She also said Germany supported pushing forward negotiations toward an EU-China investment treaty and will continue to contribute to deepening EU-China cooperative ties.
Merkel also expressed gratitude for China’s support of the G20 Summit in Hamburg.
Economic and trade relations between Germany and China have reached a high level, not only with respect to goods but in technology
The presence of President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a Wednesday youth soccer match featuring players from both countries indicates the leaders’ commitment to strengthening their soccer partnership, according to a senior German soccer official. The match was held at Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
Friedrich Curtius, secretary-general of the German Football Association, said the exhibition match is part of a soccer camp organized by both nations in Berlin for Chinese youth players.
Curtius said both sides consider the camp an excellent example of cooperation in talent promotion and education.
“The interest shown by Xi Jinping and Angela Merkel proves that both governments stand behind the two football associations. We are very glad to receive such an encouragement, which serves as motivation for us to continue working hard to achieve the cooperation project’s goals,” said Curtius.
China and Germany entered into a soccer partnership last year, and “putting our signatures on the partnership agreement was a great moment,” he said.
“I am firmly convinced that we can make a major contribution toward making President Xi Jinping’s great Chinese football dream come true,” Curtius said.
Volker Heun, founder and CEO of Invest in Football GmbH in Duesseldorf, said the soccer partnership shows the closeness of the relationship, which has paved the way for Germany to help China become a soccer power by transferring know-how.
“Under the national framework of cooperation, I believe many new opportu- nities will occur,” said Heun, also the author of a book on China’s soccer and business, which has been translated into Chinese.
Heun said he thinks training young players should be a crucial part of the cooperation between China and Germany, a country that is successful in forming teams and identifying promising players.
“We must try to explore opportunities by training boys at age 7 or 8,” Heun said.
Heun and his business partners are launching the Sino-German Football Academy for Youth Players to do that. “We are in the process
The interest shown by Xi Jinping and Angela Merkel proves that both governments stand behind the two football associations.” Friedrich Curtius, secretarygeneral, German Football Association
of selecting our Chinese investors,” he said.
The academy will target youths from second-tier leagues, soccer schools and second- or third-tier cities in China. “We are not going to target the first-tier leagues as they have already forged sound ties with football powers, and our strategy is to help those that are hidden stand out,” Heun said.
Heun said the academy is expected to open branches in both China and Germany to train 50 to 200 boys at a time.
A German coach instructs young players at the China-Germany Football Friendship event in Beijing in June.