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China playing a rising role in world affairs: German diplomat


Alwihda Info | Par peoplesdaily - 4 Juillet 2017

The two countries have maintained close exchanges in science, education and culture sectors, said Schaefer, adding that more that 600 universities of the two countries have developed partnerships, while their students and scholars have conducted wide-ranging exchanges and close contacts to explore natural sciences and humanities.


By Feng Xuejun from People’s Daily

China playing a rising role in world affairs: German diplomat
China is playing an increasingly significant role in the world as a responsible big country, Michael Schaefer, former German Ambassador to China, told the People’s Daily before Chinese President Xi Jinping started his state visit to Germany.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Germany. The world has gone through huge changes over the past years, said the diplomat who served German Ambassador to China from 2007 to 2013, adding that “the situation in Asia, Europe and the world as a whole is transforming from polarization to multi-polarization.”

A review of history has shown that since China’s adoption of the reform and opening up policy, it has ascended from a poor and weak country to be the second largest economy in the world, noted Schaefer, who serves the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the BMW Foundation.

The diplomat noted that China now has become a most important partner of Germany in Asia, while Germany the most crucial partner of China in Europe.

The two governments, sharing common interests in many fields, are willing to push forward bilateral relations since development is the most fundamental interest of the two countries, he pointed out.

The two countries have maintained close exchanges in science, education and culture sectors, said Schaefer, adding that more that 600 universities of the two countries have developed partnerships, while their students and scholars have conducted wide-ranging exchanges and close contacts to explore natural sciences and humanities.

Citing music as an example of culture communications, Schaefer said that lots of Chinese musicians are holding tours in Germany, and some even choose to study and work in the country. At the same time, lots of German musicians opt to work and live in China.

Such interactions, according to Schaefer, are significant to deepen China-Germany friendship.

China and Germany are linked by not only shared interests but also by common responsibilities, especially in advancing global economy and tackling challenges such as climate change, he stressed.

Hailing President Xi as a political leader with wisdom, Schaefer explained that the President proposed a new concept of international cooperation, and provided the world with important public products, especially the Belt and Road Initiative.

The China-proposed initiative can help spread a mutually beneficial and win-win spirit as each country is encouraged by China to engage in and enrich the connotation of the proposal, the diplomat said.

The proposal, which attracted the focus of the international community, demonstrated China’s strong soft national power, Schaefer said.

He suggested that in the next step, one of the important tasks under the Belt and Road initiative is to pool the strength of involved parties together and encourage them to play a more active part.

“I saw with my eyes as I went to almost all the provinces of the country during my six years’ term of office, that China has made marvelous achievements after the reform and opening up,” the former ambassador said.

“An influential country as it is, China never seeks hegemony. As a big country of responsibility, China is playing an increasingly significant role in the world,” he concluded.