German FM says dialogues with China of strategic significance


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Sunday before his China tour that it is of strategic significance to maintaining strong and resilient dialogues with China.

Leading a business delegation, Maas left Berlin for Beijing on his first official visit to China from Monday to Tuesday after he assumed office as foreign minister this March.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced last Thursday that Maas’ visit came after the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two foreign ministers will hold the fourth round of China-Germany Strategic Dialogue on Diplomatic and Security Affairs.

“China is more than just our most important trading partner in Asia,” said Maas, according to a statement of the German Foreign Ministry.

“One thing is clear: there is no way to solve many global problems without China. Therefore, it is of strategic importance for us to have strong and resilient channels of dialogue with Beijing,” Maas added.

The German top diplomat noted that this is especially true with regard to the issues including Germany’s role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2019-2020, the strengthening of humanitarian aid, as well as the problems of climate change.

“It is therefore good that we can continue the strategic dialogue between China and Germany in the two coming days,” added Maas, who noted that the two sides will also exchange views on issues with different views.

“But a strong, historically grown relationship — such as that between Germany and China — can endure this,” said Maas.