4th Sino-German Sustainability Dialogue
Event: Sustainable Growth Model
Politicians, academics and business leaders from Germany came to China to discuss and explore innovation and green growth during a five-day trip through Beijing, Baotou, Shanghai and Taicang.
For the 4th Sino-German Sustainability Dialogue, themed “Innovation and Green Growth”, an eleven member German delegation led by Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, Vice-Chairperson of the Social Democratic Party, and consisting of representatives of German politics, academia and business, visited China from 7 July to 11 July by invitation of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC).
After arriving in Beijing, the delegation first met with two German media correspondents for a discussion on current developments in China. Afterwards, the delegation visited the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) for a briefing on China’s 13th Five-Year-Plan, before having a more technical discussion with the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) of the NDRC on the retrospect and outlook of climate and energy policies in China and Europe. The second day started with a visit to the National People’s Congress (NPC) for insights into China’s legislative work on environmental and work safety protection, followed by a high-level talk with Minister SONG Tao of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) on bilateral and inter-party relations. Afterwards, the delegation met with the German Ambassador to China, Michael Clauß, to discuss current developments in China and German-Chinese relations. Subsequently, the delegation visited the interim headquarter of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for a discussion with Joachim von Amsberg, Vice-President for Policy and Strategy, on the strategic orientation of the newly founded bank. In the evening, the political members of the delegation were invited to a dinner by then-Vice-Minister Chen Fengxiang of IDCPC.
Moving on to Baotou in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on day three, the delegation participated in the main conference of the 4th Sino-German Sustainability Dialogue after a short meeting with political leaders of the municipality. The conference centered on sustainable national development strategies in China and Germany, promoting green growth through innovation, and boosting the economy through green growth in return. In particular, the discussion centered on the concept of multi-dimensional sustainability, which covers economical, social, educational and other aspects in addition to the commonly understood ecological one.
On the second day in Baotou, the delegation toured through a multitude of local businesses, research institutes, industrial development zones and public facilities that featured various kinds of sustainability-related innovation. The German visitors were impressed by the speed of industrial development and transformation in Baotou.
After leaving Baotou and arriving in Shanghai for the final day of its China trip, the delegation was briefed on the development of China’s financial market first by a panel of experts, then by the municipal Financial Service Office (FSO). After a meeting with the CPC Vice-Secretary of Shanghai, Mr. Ying Hong, the delegation traveled to Taicang, a county-level city just outside of Shanghai, visiting a vocational training center co-founded and co-operated by the German Chamber of Commerce (AHK), some German companies, and finally the newly opened German Centre Taicang. There, the delegation had a discussion with political leaders of Taicang on its role as a model hotspot of Sino-German cooperation. The program of the delegation concluded with a dinner by invitation of the German Consul-General in Shanghai, Mr. Peter Rothen.
Overall, the IV Sino-German Sustainability Dialogue was a resounding success, both with respect to fostering inter-party relations as well as to having in-depth exchanges on innovation and green growth strategies in China and Germany.