BERLIN, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met with German President Horst Koehler on Monday, calling for more concerted efforts to lift Chinese-German ties onto a higher level.
Xi said Koehler is an old friend of the Chinese people, and that the Chinese side appreciates Koehler's long-term concern on and contribution to the Chinese-German and Chinese-European relations.
The Chinese vice president said both China and Germany are important countries in the world, and that he hoped his current visit could further increase mutual political trust and enhance bilateral cooperation.
The Sino-German ties have maintained good momentum of development this year thanks to the concerted efforts of both sides, and despite of the international financial crisis, bilateral trade has become all the more important within the China-Europe trade during the first half of this year, he said.
Xi said the Chinese side has long attached vital importance to its relations with Germany, and that China has taken a strategic and long-term approach towards the bilateral ties.
The Chinese side is willing to join hands with the German side, in line with the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and understanding and accommodating each other's core interests, to increase political trust, deepen economic cooperation, enhance cultural exchanges and strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs, so as to lift the Chinese-German relations onto a higher level.
Xi, who will attend the opening ceremony of the Fankfurt Book Fair on Tuesday, said various events will be staged featuring China as the Guest of Honor for the book fair and the fair will provide a new platform for promoting the friendship and understanding between China and Germany,
Koehler, on his part, also spoke highly of the current Germany-China relations.
He said China is a great country and it is playing an increasingly important role in the international arena.
Germany and China share broad common interests, and they also face global challenges like the financial crisis, climate change and how to achieve sustainable development, said Koehler.
Both Germany and China, as large trading nations, should enhance dialogue and cooperation, and oppose trade and investment protectionism by means of expanding their domestic demands, to show to the world that the two countries' development does not merely rely on expanding external demands, he said.
Later on Monday, Xi also met with Guido Westerwelle, chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP). The FDP is to join hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's party to form a new government.
Xi also addressed a gathering of business leaders from Germany and China on Monday, and he later attended a signing ceremony for nine cooperation agreements on economic cooperation, education and solar energy and other areas.
Xi arrived in Germany on Saturday morning for the second leg of his five-nation Europe tour.