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For first time, China sends security chief to Germany for key talks as Beijing eyes closer cooperation with Berlin

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For the first time, China has sent its top security official to Germany for a high-level bilateral meeting as Beijing pledges deeper cooperation with Berlin.
Chen Wenqing, a Politburo member and Communist Party secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, attended the China-Germany high-level security dialogue in Berlin, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.
Chen, 63, has been travelling since September 21, first stopping in Italy on a trip that also includes official visits to Serbia and Germany, according to state news agency Xinhua.

This year’s bilateral security dialogue between China and Germany is the fourth since 2017, when the first meeting was held in Beijing. The meetings were held annually until the Covid-19 pandemic began. Previous meetings were attended by deputies of the commission’s chief.

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This is the second time Chen Wenqing has travelled abroad since last October, when he assumed his new role as head of the commission, the Communist Party’s top body overseeing national security and intelligence. In late May, Chen travelled to Russia for two security meetings.

At the event’s opening ceremony in Berlin on Tuesday, Chen said China had “always attached great importance to and actively supported law enforcement and security cooperation” between the two countries, noting that the bilateral security dialogues had “contributed to the maintenance of common security interests”.

He called for cooperation to “fully leverage” the security dialogue’s “strategic guidance role”, according to the Xinhua report.

“Focus should be placed on addressing real threats, paying attention to potential risks, and promoting cooperation and innovative development. It is important to promote mutual trust and clarity to inject stability and certainty into the development of China-Germany relations,” he was quoted as saying.

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The meeting was jointly chaired by Yin Bai, secretary general of the commission, and officials from the German Chancellery, Xinhua said.

The report said representatives from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Justice and the People’s Bank of China held “candid and in-depth discussions” and reached consensus with their German counterparts on topics including counterterrorism, organised crime and online security.

During his visit to Rome, Chen Wenqing also met Antonio Tajani, Italy’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Xinhua reported.

Chen said that over the years, the two countries had achieved practical results in areas such as counterterrorism, security for large-scale events and fighting transnational organised crime.

Noting “a complex international situation and severe global challenges”, Chen called for cooperation between China and Italy to improve the creation of security mechanisms and strengthen exchanges at all levels and in all fields.

Xinhua quoted Tajani as saying that “cooperation between Italy and China is extensive and diverse, and there is great potential for cooperation in the security field”.

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