“Pragmatic Cooperation”: German and Chinese foreign ministers hold videoconference

The following are three off-the-cuff translations of the news articles published by the FMPRC and the German foreign office earlier today, after a videoconference between the two countries’ foreign ministers. These translations are by no means authoritative and may contain errors – in case of the doubt, look at the originals. If either of them is a comprehensive description of the conference is, of course, impossible to tell.

Wang Yi also presented the Chinese version of his country’s conflict with the US, but this was published in an extra article by the FMPRC – please refer to the third translation.

“Positive and constructive attitude”

Links within blockquotes added during translation.

The following is a translation of the news article published by China’s foreign ministry.

On July 24, 2020, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a video conference with German foreign minister Heiko Maas.

2020年7月24日,国务委员兼外长王毅同德国外长马斯举行视频会晤。

Wang Yi said that since the outbreak of the epidemic, China and Germany had both upheld close communication through telephone, video and other means, to plan for the next step in the development of Chinese-German and Chinese-European relations. We must actively  implement the political consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, ensure the sound and stable development of Chinese-German relations, advocate multilateralism together, reject unilateral behavior, and provide more stability and correct energy for the world:

王毅表示,疫情发生以来,中德两国领导人通过通话、视频等方式保持密切沟通,为下一步中德、中欧关系发展作出规划。我们要积极落实两国领导人达成的政治共识,确保中德关系健康稳定发展,共同倡导多边主义,抵制单边行径,为世界提供更多稳定性和正能量:

Firstly, to newly start Chinese-German dialog on all levels and in all fields, actively plan and carry out dialog and consultation mechanisms in a flexible way, with the two foreign ministries taking a role in the resumption of exchanges.

一是要让中德各层级、各领域对话重新启动起来,以灵活方式积极规划实施好各种对话磋商机制,两国外交部可在恢复交往方面发挥作用。

Secondly, to let Chinese-German pragmatic cooperation resume as soon as possible, to jointly maintain international supply chains and their stability. The two countries have already taken the lead in the implementation of “fast-lane travels”, with the need to create better conditions by strengthening prevention and expanding bilateral staff contacts and increasing the numbers of flights.

二是要让中德务实合作尽快恢复起来,共同维护国际产业链、供应链稳定。两国已率先实行“快捷通道”,要通过加强联防联控,为扩大双方人员往来和增加航班创造更好条件。

Thirdly, to let Chinese-German interaction and coordination on multilateral matters, strengthen cooperation on United Nations matters, implement the G20 summit countries’ consensus and promotion of international epidemic prevention, including help for African and other less-developed regions in fighting the epidemic, and strengthen vaccine research and development and sharing.

三是要让中德在多边事务中的互动与协调活络起来,加强在联合国事务中的合作,落实好二十国集团峰会共识,推动国际抗疫合作,包括帮助非洲等欠发达地区抗击疫情,加强疫苗研发合作和分享。

Wang Yi emphasized that China has always looked at the EU and Chinese-EU relations with a positive and constructive attitude, always supported the European integration process, supported the EU’s growth and expansion, and happily watched the EU’s development of a greater international role. To develop Chinese-European relations well, comprehensive, objective and accurate knowledge of each other is the key. Wang Yi reiterated that Chinese-European consensus was much greater than their divisions, and cooperation much greater than competition. The two sides’ contacts should be positive and win-win, not a you-lose-I-win zero-sum game. China and Europe are cooperation partners, not systemic rivals. China expects the term of Germany’s rotating EU presidency to promote the realization of still bigger upgradings of Chinese-European relations and is willing to work with Europe to plan and prepare the next stages of the Chinese-European political agenda, to deepen cooperation on climate change, and to send a positive signal that China and Europe join hands to cooperate in safeguarding multilateralism and improving global governance.

王毅强调,中国始终以积极、建设性心态看待欧盟和中欧关系,始终支持欧洲一体化进程,支持欧盟发展壮大,乐见欧盟在国际上发展更大作用。发展好中欧关系,全面、客观、准确的相互认知是关键。王毅重申,中欧共识远大于分歧,合作远大于竞争。双方的交往应当是互利共赢的良性互动,而不是你输我赢的零和博弈。中欧是合作伙伴,而不是制度性对手。中方期待德国担任欧盟轮值主席国期间推动中欧关系实现更大提升,愿同欧方一道,筹划好下阶段中欧重大政治议程,深化气候变化国际合作,对外释放中欧携手合作,维护多边主义、完善全球治理的积极信号。

Maas first expressed sympathy to the Chinese people suffering the flood disaster. Maas said that Germany places great attention on German-Chinese relations. Close German-Chinese communication, dialog and cooperation in the face of the epidemic challenge had led to good results. Germany highly appreciated China’s pledge to  turn a successfully developed vaccine into an international product after successful development. [Germany] wanted to strengthen cooperation with China in vaccine R & D, and in improving accessibility to such a vaccine. Germany firmly supported multilateralism and supported the WHO. It would substantially increase financial support for the WHO. Germany was willing to make ample use of existing dialog and consultation mechanisms, to strengthen strategic dialog and communication, to cooperate on post-epidemic economic recovery, increase the numbers of business and chartered flights while doing a good job at prevention and control, and promote essential contacts. As rotating president of the EU, Germany placed great attention on European-Chinese relations, was willing to plan the next stages of European-Chinese high-level exchanges, to deepen cooperation on climate change, strengthen third-party cooperation in Africa, and contribute efforts to the promotion of European-Chinese relations’ development.

马斯首先向遭受洪涝灾害的中国民众表示慰问。马斯表示,德方高度重视德中关系。面对全球疫情挑战,德中保持密切沟通,对话与合作富有成果。德方高度赞赏中方承诺在疫苗研发成功后将作为国际公共产品,愿同中方加强疫苗研发合作,提高疫苗的可及性。德方坚定支持多边主义,支持世卫组织,将大幅提高对世卫组织的资金支持。德方愿充分利用现有各种对话磋商机制,加强战略对话与沟通,就疫后经济复苏开展合作,在做好防控的同时,增加商业航班和包机数量,促进必要人员往来。作为欧盟轮值主席,德方高度重视欧中关系,愿同中方共同规划好下阶段欧中重要高层交往,深化应对气候变化协作,加强在非洲第三方合作,为促进欧中关系发展贡献力量。

The two sides exchanged opinions about the China-EU investment agreement negotiations, concurred that with the background of unilateralism and protectionism, efforts to meet half-way and to negotiate needed to be increased, so as to strive for the attainment of a comprehensive, balanced and high-class Chinese-European investment agreement at the earliest possible date.

双方就中欧投资协定谈判交换了意见,一致同意在当前单边主义、保护主义抬头背景下,应加快相向而行,加大谈判力度,争取尽早达成一项全面、平衡、高水平的中欧投资协定。

The following is a translation of the news article published by Germany’s foreign ministry.

Since early June, the worst rains ever since the beginning of keeping records have caused massive floods in China. We are aghast of the pictures and reports about the flood disaster. On behalf of the federal government, I have expressed our deepest sympathy and our solidarity with the population affected by the floods.

Seit Anfang Juni sorgen die schlimmsten Regenfälle seit Beginn der Aufzeichnungen für massive Überschwemmungen in China. Wir sind bestürzt über die Bilder und Berichte der Flutkatastrophe. Im Namen der Bundesregierung habe ich der chinesischen Seite unser tiefstes Mitgefühl und unsere Solidarität mit der von den Fluten betroffenen Bevölkerung ausgedrückt.

For us, China is an important partner, but a competitor and systemic rival, too. Maintaining cooperation matters to us. However, it is also crucial that we keep up dialog especially about critical topics.

China ist für uns ein wichtiger Partner, aber auch Wettbewerber und systemischer Rivale. Für uns ist der Erhalt der Zusammenarbeit wichtig. Gleichzeitig ist es aber auch entscheidend, dass wir im Dialog insbesondere auch zu kritischen Themen bleiben.

The most An important topic of my discussion with Wang Yi was the situation in Hong Kong – as has been in my talks with Great Britain this week, and in EU circles last week. I have presented the common European position and reflectins among EU partners, concerning the treatment of the new legal situation, once again. There, too, there is need for action. To us, it is and remains important that, in accordance with international law entered by China, Hong Kong’s autonomy and the liberties guaranteed by the Basic Law, including freedom of opinion, remain guaranteed. That is why we are watching closely now how the law will be applied in practice, also with reference to the Legislative Council elections. If the principle of “one country, two systems” gets eroded by the security law, there will be consequences for our relations with Hong Kong and China. The human rights situation in China was also a topic in our discussion.

Wichtiges Thema meines Gesprächs mit Wang Yi war die Situation in Hongkong – wie im Übrigen auch schon bei meinen Gesprächen mit Großbritannien diese Woche und im EU-Kreis in der vergangenen Woche. Ich habe Wang Yi nochmals die gemeinsame europäische Haltung und die Überlegungen unter den EU-Partnern zum Umgang mit der neuen Rechtslage dargelegt. Denn auch dort gibt es Handlungsbedarf. Für uns ist und bleibt es wichtig, dass gemäß der völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen, die China eingegangen ist, die Autonomie Hongkongs und die im Basic Law garantierten Freiheiten, einschließlich der Meinungsfreiheit, gewährleistet bleiben. Deshalb beobachten wir jetzt genau, wie das Gesetz in der Praxis angewandt wird, auch mit Blick auf die Wahlen zum Legislative Council. Wenn das Prinzip „Ein Land, zwei Systeme“ durch das Sicherheitsgesetz ausgehöhlt wird, hat das auch Folgen für unser Verhältnis zu Hongkong und China. Auch die Menschenrechtslage in China war Thema unseres Gesprächs.

As the EU’s presidency, we also still hope that the EU-China summit, originally planned for mid-September, can soon be catched up with. It is important that we finally reach substantial steps in the EU-China investment agreement.

Als EU-Ratspräsidentschaft hoffen wir nach wie vor, dass der ursprünglich für Mitte September geplante EU-China-Gipfel bald nachgeholt werden kann. Es ist wichtig, dass wir endlich substantielle Schritte beim EU-China-Investitionsabkommen erreichen.

G5 network development was a topic in our discussion, too. I explained that strengthening Europe’s digital sovereignty is an important concern for the German EU presidency. We have a strategic interest in our critical infrastructur’s security. To this end, security criteria will be established that all companies have to fulfill if they want to take part in 5G network development.

Auch der 5G-Netzwerkausbau war Thema unseres Gesprächs. Ich habe erläutert, dass die Stärkung der digitalen Souveränität Europas ein wichtiges Anliegen der deutschen EU-Ratspräsidentschaft ist. Wir haben ein strategisches Interesse an der Sicherheit unserer kritischen Infrastruktur. Dafür werden Sicherheitskriterien aufgestellt, die von allen Unternehmen zu erfüllen sind, wenn sie am 5G Netzwerkausbau beteiligt sein wollen.

In the area of climate change, the EU wants to work closely with China. Without China, we will not be able to achieve sustainable results here. Therefore, it was important that here, too, we remain in a close dialog.

Im Bereich Klimaschutz wollen wir als EU den engen Schulterschluss mit China suchen. Ohne China werden wir hier keine nachhaltigen Ergebnisse erzielen können. Deswegen war es wichtig, dass wir auch hierzu im engen Dialog bleiben.

We have also addressed the situation in Libya and Iran. If we want progress, we need China as a responsible actor in international politics. I have once again made a case for more Chinese support about Libya in the UN Security Council, and for constructive cooperation about Iran. Here, it has to be our main goal to preserve the JPCOA.

Wir haben auch die Situation in Libyen und dem Iran angesprochen. Wenn wir Fortschritte erzielen wollen, brauchen wir China als verantwortungsvollen Akteur in der internationalen Politik. Ich habe mich nochmals stark gemacht für eine weitere Unterstützung durch China zu Libyen im Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen und für eine konstruktive Mitarbeit zum Iran. Hier muss es unser oberstes Ziel bleiben, das JCPoA zu erhalten.

Of course, we also discussed COVID-19. The pandemic appears to be under control in our two countries for now – a success of our cooperation and solidarity. We agreed that this creates the opportunity for gradual development of travel connections between our countries.

Selbstverständlich haben wir auch über COVID-19 gesprochen. Die Pandemie scheint in unseren beiden Ländern vorerst unter Kontrolle zu sein – ein Erfolg unserer Zusammenarbeit und Solidarität. Wir waren uns einig, dass dies die Möglichkeit schafft, gemeinsam am schrittweisen Ausbau von Reiseverbindungen zwischen unseren Ländern zu arbeiten.

However, we must not relent in our efforts in fighting Corona. The pandemic continues to require international solidarity, especially in a globally fair distribution of a future vaccine. However, it is also important in our view that there will be scientific research [or investigation] of the virus’ origins. Therefore, we also discussed an invitation to the WHO, concerning the deployment of an expert commission.

Wir dürfen in unseren Bemühungen im Kampf gegen Corona aber keinesfalls nachlassen. Die Pandemie erfordert nach wie vor internationale Solidarität, gerade auch bei der global gerechten Verteilung eines künftigen Impfstoffes. Wichtig ist aus unserer Sicht allerdings auch eine wissenschaftliche Untersuchung der Herkunft des Virus. Daher haben wir auch über eine Einladung an die WHO über die Entsendung einer Expertenmission gesprochen.

The following is a translation of Wang Yi’s version of China’s conflict with the US.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during a video meeting with German foreign minister Heiko Maas on July 24, 2020, introduced [Maas] to the current [state of] Chinese-American relations on request.

2020年7月24日,国务委员兼外长王毅同德国外长马斯举行视频会晤时,应询介绍了当下的中美关系。

Wang Yi said that the problems in Chinese-American relations are all created by America, their objective is to try to interrupt China’s development progress, by means fair or foul, and even with a lack of any bottom line. Recently, some American anti-China forces also deliberately created ideological antagonism, openly forced other countries to choose the side to stand on, to get into confrontation with China for America’s selfish interest, but no country with an innate sense of right and wrong and an independent spirit would keep that kind of company.

王毅表示,中美关系目前面临的困难完全是美方一手造成的,其目的就是企图彻底打断中国的发展进程,为此可以不择手段,甚至毫无底线。最近美方一些反华势力还蓄意制造意识形态对立,公开胁迫别国选边站队,为了美方的私利与中国对抗,但任何有良知和独立精神的国家都不会与之为伍。

Wang Yi said that China still hopes that non-conflict with America can be reached, without confrontation, with mutual respect, mutually profitable cooperation, but that we will inevitably and resolutely defend national sovereignty and national dignity, resolutely defend our own just development rights, and the principles of international relations. China will not behave like America, but won’t tolerate American trouble-making either.

王毅表示,中国仍希与美国实现不冲突、不对抗、相互尊重、合作共赢,但我们必将坚定维护国家主权和民族尊严,坚定维护自身正当发展权利,坚定维护国际关系基本准则。中国不会随美方起舞,但也绝不容美方胡来。

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Updates / Related

Crunch time, SCMP, July 23, 2020
Subsidies beyond reach, SCMP, July 24

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