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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

In China, German Foreign Minister Calls for Open Dialog

June 17, 2008

Deutsche Welle (DW)
June 18, 2008

Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for open dialog between the state and
civil society during his visit to China. Even so, Sino-German
relations seem to have finally recovered from the Dalai Lama's visit
to Berlin last year.

An open dialog between the state and civil society included the
willingness and ability to criticize, Steinmeier said at the opening
of an urban development conference in the megacity of Chongqing on
Sunday, June 15.

Common responsibility worked best when the two parties were open
towards each other and other countries. "Openness creates trust," he
said, adding that politics should not only limit criticism.

Steinmeier told the conference in Chongqing that globalization
requires new policies. "Not just between centers of power in a
multipolar world, but also between the state and civil society," he added.

The conference considered the challenges of growing urbanization in
China. It was part of a series of events under the theme "Germany and
China -- Together in Motion" that has been ongoing since autumn 2007.

Shocked by quake effects

Steinmeier had visited the earthquake affected area in the country's
south-west on Sunday.

"The situation is dramatic," a visibly shaken Steinmeier said at a
camp in the area. It was not possible to imagine from a distance what
shock the country had gone through in the wake of the earthquake, the
German minister said.

The May 12 quake caused more than 70,000 deaths.

Steinmeier visited the cities of Chengdu and Dujiangyan in the
earthquake-hit region to discuss the work of German aid
organizations. He said he was pleased that German relief for the
victims had arrived so quickly.

Germany plans to assist in the reconstruction of eight schools.

The German Red Cross has already set up a field hospital funded by
the German foreign ministry to the tune of more than 1 million euros
($1.5 million).

"A true friend"

Steinmeier said he welcomed developments in Sino-German relations,
adding that a "complete normalization" had come about.

His three-day visit to China, which began Friday, came in the wake of
a period of frosty ties between Berlin and Beijing after Chancellor
Angela Merkel received the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai
Lama, in September 2007.

After meeting Steinmeier in Beijing on Friday, Chinese foreign
minister Yang Jiechi announced that the two countries aimed to resume
their dialog on human rights issues.

Yang said the dialog would resume in the second half of this year.

In a further indication of an improvement in the bilateral situation,
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao thanked Germany for its earthquake relief
aid, which amounted to some 20 million euros, and called Germany "a
true friend in need."
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