( dpa ) - German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday met Chinese officials and urged the two nations to expand cooperation in environmental technology.
In a speech to a conference in Beijing, Gabriel praised China for playing an important role in combatting global warming and for improving energy efficiency and using more renewable energy sources.
The two sides signed a cooperation agreement on urban water supply in China following the conference on energy efficiency and renewables, and Gabriel also met foreign ministry officials.
He was scheduled to meet Zhou Shengxian, minister of China's State Environmental Protection Administration, later on Thursday.
Gabriel's three-day visit began in the southern city of Guangzhou on Wednesday and is the highest-level visit since the two nations ended a diplomatic spat sparked by Chancellor Angela Merkel's meeting with the Dalai Lama last September.
Trade between the two countries has expanded rapidly in recent years, reaching 76.3 billion euros (110 billion dollars) in 2006, with China running a surplus of 21 billion euros.