BERLIN, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday to discuss bilateral ties and further cooperation amid the ongoing financial and economic crisis.
Joining hands to tackle the financial downturn is currently the top priority for the two nations, said Wen during the meeting.
China and Germany should strengthen their coordination and cooperation to tide over the crisis and take the opportunity to push forward the bilateral ties to a new level, Wen said.
Merkel said the two nations have enjoyed very close relations, and the German side attaches great importance to China's international status and role, and is ready to further strengthen its dialogue with China.
China and Germany share similar ground and common interests in dealing with the financial crisis and the two sides should strengthen coordination in dealing with the issue, she said.
The cooperation deals signed on Thursday, which cover various fields, are of great importance for overcoming the current difficulties and promoting long-term cooperation, she said.
Germany remains committed to pushing forward its relations with China, she added.
During the meeting, the two leaders pledged to promote the steady growth of bilateral trade and investment through stepping up cooperation in such areas as finance, telecommunication and logistics.
The Chinese side decided to send a purchasing mission to Germany in its bid to increase the country's import of German goods, technology and equipment, and also hoped Germany could promote the European Union to further open the bloc's market to China.
The German side expressed its readiness to make due efforts in this regard and pledged to make larger investment in China's central and western regions.
Moreover, the two leaders also agreed to encourage cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises in both countries and deepen bilateral cooperation in high-tech area, especially in information, biology, new material and new energy.
They also decided to deepen cooperation on energy conservation and environmental protection, especially in such areas as energy-conserving technology, low carbon technology and renewable energy. They pledged joint efforts in tackling the challenges arising from climate change and vowed to foster new areas for growth in bilateral economic and technological cooperation.
And they agreed to strengthen communication and cooperation in macroeconomic policies, make joint efforts to oppose trade protectionism and enhance coordination and consultation in international affairs.
On Thursday, Wen also held separate talks with German President Horst Koehler and Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
During his meeting with Koehler, Wen said that China and Germany have sent a positive message of confidence, hope and courage to the world by strengthening mutual trust and cooperation amid the current complicated and serious international political and economic landscape.
Koehler said the two nations should join hands to overcome challenges and curb trade protectionism.
The German side appreciates the measures by the Chinese government to expand domestic demand, and welcomes China to increase its imports from Germany, he said.
Germany has the confidence that China will overcome the crisis and maintain a steady and relatively fast economic growth, which is in the interest of Germany and the world at large, he said.
Germany is the second leg of Wen's European tour after Switzerland, where he attended the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. The trip will also take him to the European Union headquarters, Spain and Britain.