China: Merkel calls for sustainable development

Merkel and Li KeqiangBeijing – Visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called on Germany and China to take the lead in establishing a partnership to promote sustainable development.

Sustainable development does not mean sacrificing economic growth, but an opportunity for countries to have more resources and a better life,Merkel said in a speech on sustainable development at China’s prestigious Tsinghua University.

In Germany, a quarter of power is generated from renewable resources and this figure is expected to rise to 50 percent in a few years, Merkel told students, adding that her country has decided to gradually give up nuclear power and completely abandon it by 2020.

Merkel said her trip to southwest China’s Chengdu City on Sunday has helped her gain first hand information on the challenges of China’s urbanization as more and more Chinese flock from villages to cities.

She said China and Germany have established a partnership on urbanization aimed at making cities more sustainable through new urban construction plans, intelligent transportation systems, energy-saving buildings and better sewage treatment.

The formulation of the post-2015 global development agenda focuses on sustainable development. Germany and China should take the lead in establishing partnerships to achieve sustainable development, Merkel said, adding that Germany will also develop similar partnerships with other developing countries.

Germany and China will join hands to tackle global problems like climate change and hold discussions at the Paris Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, according to the Chancellor.

She said it is normal for China’s coastal regions, which are better developed than central and western areas, to lower their growth rates.

China faces problems of how to achieve sustainable development as more citizens are concerned about environment and air quality, Merkel said.

China has put forward a number of energy-saving and environmental protection measures, Merkel noted, saying she hopes China will have prudent and brilliant policies.

Merkel attended the launch ceremony of a China-Germany electric vehicle charging project after the speech.

Merkel is in China for a three-day visit at the invitation of her Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang. Source: Xinhua

Photo: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang  and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attending the first meeting of Sino-German Advisory Committee on Economy in Beijing