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Wednesday, November 23, 2016, 22:12

7th Hamburg Summit opens

By Xinhua

7th Hamburg Summit opens
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder delivers a speech at the 7th Hamburg Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Nov 23, 2016. (Xinhua)

HAMBURG, Germany - The 7th Hamburg Summit "China Meets Europe" opened here on Wednesday, drawing senior officials, entrepreneurs and leading scholars from China and the European Union (EU) to discuss key issues on China-Europe economic relations.

China is of special importance to Germany as well as to the whole of Europe

Gerhard Schroeder, former German Chancellor

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in his opening speech that China is of special importance to Germany as well as to the whole of Europe, adding that the two countries have built a very successful partnership in the last four decades.

He said Germany continues to be China's most important partner in Europe and has opted for political cooperation with China over recent decades.

"Cooperation, rather than confrontation, should characterize the relationships between countries, even when their political and economic systems differ," said Schroeder, who was also the honorary chairman of the conference this year.

In today's world, there is no country that can master all these new challenges alone, he said.

"This is why we must intensify the strategic partnership with China in all areas, in politics and culture, as well as in economy and civil society."

The summit scheduled for Nov 23 and 24 in the northern German city of Hamburg will deliver discussions, keynote speeches and panel meetings focusing on such topics as the fallout from the Brexit, China's economic transition, the Belt and Road Initiative and boosting efficiency in industrial manufacturing.

Initiated by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce in 2004, the biennial summit serves as an important platform for discussing China-EU economic cooperation.

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