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Chinese premier renews 23-year-old friendship in Germany

2013-05-27 08:30 Xinhua     Web Editor: Mo Hong'e comment

Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met one of his old German friends in Postdam on Sunday during his tight schedule to renew their friendship that dates back to 23 years ago.

Rainer Dold, president of the German-Chinese Friendship Association in German city Stuttgart, gave Li six rare photos taken during his 1990 visit to Germany as the head of a Chinese youth delegation.

Dold, then as a youth league leader of Stuttgart, accompanied Li and his colleagues during that visit.

Gazing at each of the six old photos, Li recalled the happy memories of discussing Chinese and German cultures and philosophies with German friends at the riverside of the University of Tuebingen in south Germany.

"This is the best gift from you," Li told Dold. "Youthful friendship is engraved in memory and never forgotten."

Dold, 61 years old, thanked Li for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet them.

He said that during the scores of years working at the German-Chinese Friendship Association, he has witnessed the rapid development of the Chinese economy and society, as well as the association's ever more cooperative programs with China.

One of the photos features Li talking with local jobless young people in Stuttgart, and Dold told Xinhua in a previous interview that Li was most concerned with young people's employment at that time among other post-reunification social issues in Germany.

"As Li Keqiang's discussions during that visit all focused on the lives of the common German people, I found him very amiable," Dold said. "Besides, he was young, intelligent and friendly, we had a very pleasant time."

Li appreciated Dold for making contributions to the China-German friendship with passion and commitment.

"More than 20 years on, China-Germany relations have undergone tremendous changes and progress with deepening cooperation in various fields," Li said, adding that "local-level and people-to-people exchanges have become an important cornerstone of the bilateral ties."

Li said he hopes to make more German friends during this visit, as he did many years ago. He also invited his old German friends to visit China.

"Everything we are doing today is for the future, which belongs to the youth," Li said fondly, calling for more efforts to push forward the exchanges between the Chinese and German young people for more fruitful China-Germany friendship.

The Chinese premier arrived in Berlin on Saturday for an official visit to Germany, the only European Union country included in his first overseas tour since taking office.

Later in his visit, Li is scheduled to meet with German President Joachim Gauck and hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. He will also deliver a speech at a business luncheon and make extensive contacts with German political and business figures.

Germany is the last leg of Li's ongoing trip, which has already taken him to India, Pakistan and Switzerland.

 Premier Li Keqiang's First Overseas Trip

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