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Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Logo)Event Reports

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On the occasion of the visit of the former Prime Minister of Thuringia Dieter Althaus, KAS Beijing in cooperation with the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries organized a seminar on the topic „The role of German-Chinese relations in the global economy”. The seminar was held on 9th April, 2018 in Beijing. To encourage a dialogue between representatives of both countries the platform provided Chinese and German experts in the field of politics and economy with the opportunity to exchange views on current opportunities and challenges and to establish new contacts.

Michael Winzer (Head of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Beijing) opened the seminar and emphasized the close cooperation between Germany and China in the automobile industry and common future issues such as electro mobility and autonomous driving.

Lü Hongwei(Deputy Head of the Europe Department, Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries) and Jan Rudolph (Head of the Political Department of the German Embassy in Beijing) illustrated in their welcoming remarks how close and successful the German-Chinese relations are. While Lü Hongwei mentioned that China became Germany’s most important trading partner for the second year in succession and mutual investments continuously increase, Jan Rudolph emphasized the importance of a joint discourse as social and economic questions are closely interlinked. According to him, a solution approach for key challenges can only be developed in a joint discourse.

In his opening remarks Dieter Althaus (Former Prime Minister of Thuringia, Board Member of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Vice President Governmental Affairs Magna Europe) emphasized the good economic relations between Germany and China and their importance to the development of both countries. Moreover, he explained the particular importance of stable economic relations being the foundation of good political relations.

Mr. Gong Luyang (Vice Director of the Transport Research Center of the Research Academy of the Chinese Ministry of Transport) gave a keynote speech on the topic “Current status and policy regarding electro mobility in China”. He elaborated on the great progress achieved with regard to New Energy Vehicles (NEV) and their increased use for public transport and car sharing. According to him, the Chinese government attaches great importance to electro mobility and supports research, development and distribution on various levels.

In his keynote speech Dieter Althaus illustrated the current status of German-Chinese cooperation in the automobile industry. He emphasized the role of China as a leading market for electro mobility and important technology partner, e.g. with regard to organizing mobility in urban areas and autonomous driving. In this context, he referred to the large number of consumers in China, the high level of economic growth, the rapid urbanization and rising incomes as great opportunity for German manufacturers and suppliers. Furthermore, he described the German-Chinese cooperation as situation of mutual exchange. He emphasized that the mutual technology exchange between Germany and China is no longer a one-way street.

In his subsequent keynote speech on the topic “The automobile industry and the current state of German-Chinese relations” Mr. Zhang Lin (Representative of the Association of German Automobile Industry, VDA) mentioned that China’s economic rise led to concern with regard to partners in Europe. However, he sees numerous opportunities for German-Chinese cooperation especially in the field of electro mobility and autonomous driving. In this context, he made aware of challenges concerning free market access and intellectual property in China.

Ms. Li Jun (China Automotive Technology and Research Center) gave a keynote speech on the topic “The cooperation between Germany and China in the field of electro mobility”. The fields of cooperation include research, development and disposal and shall be further expanded in the future. Apart from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and the German Federal Ministry of Transport numerous automobile manufacturers, universities, research centers and cities are involved in various projects.

Finally, Mr. Qi Yuanbo (Great Wall Motor Company) gave a keynote speech on the topic “The future of artificial intelligence and joint innovative development”. He explained how the wide-ranging urbanization leads to an increasing demand for a new organization of transportation and thus, special attention is paid to the research and development in the field of intelligent driving.

In the course of the subsequent open round table discussion the experts in the field of politics and economy of both countries discussed positions, challenges and future opportunities. Lü Hongwei opened the round table discussion with the question whether the German automobile manufacturers feel threatened by “newcomers” from China. Dieter Althaus mentioned in his response that China is a driving force for innovation as well and thus, the German-Chinese cooperation is a situation of mutual giving and taking. Furthermore, the issue regarding the future of conventional propulsion systems in Germany has been raised. However, the experts agreed that conventional propulsion systems probably will be needed beyond 2030 and cooperation in this field is still important and productive.

In his final words Michael Winzer emphasized that the automobile industry is a perfect example for the good relations between Germany and China as well as the EU and China and at the same time concerns current challenges as climate change and social issues.

About this Serial

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at www.kas.de. In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.

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