China sign partnership with Germany to boost Chinese soccer

COLOGNE: China is turning to World Cup champion Germany in a bid to boost soccer in the country through the exchange of ideas and training for players and coaches.

China Vice Premier Liu Yandong has welcomed a five-year partnership signed between the countries, saying, "We can learn from Germany in many ways."

Members of the German football federation and football league met with their counterparts from China in Cologne on Saturday, one day after the agreement was signed in Berlin.

The German league says in a statement that "comprehensive measures are to be taken to support the growth of soccer in China," and the agreement is the outcome of earlier talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and China President Xi Jinping.