Spotlight: China, CEE countries pledge stronger infrastructure, production capacity cooperation

LATVIA-RIGA-LI KEQIANG-PLENKOVIC-MEETING

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Riga, capital of Latvia, Nov. 5, 2016. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

RIGA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) — China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries on Saturday pledged to further strengthen their cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction and production capacity.

The pledge was made by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in separate meetings with leaders of some CEE countries and Belarus, who was an observer for the fifth summit of China and CEE countries (16+1) held in Riga on Saturday afternoon.

VOICING SUPPORT FOR TOURISM COOPERATION

While meeting Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Li appreciates Croatia’s efforts to promote relations with China and cooperation between China and CEE countries.

China would encourage companies to participate in infrastructure construction in Croatia in line with the principle of equality, mutual benefit and win-win results, and hopes Croatia provide favorable conditions and policy support, Li said.

He also voiced support for the two countries’ tourism cooperation.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between China and Croatia. Plenkovic said his country will take it as an opportunity to strengthen the conjoining of their development strategies and conduct cooperation on equipment manufacturing.

The Croatian prime minister also welcomed Chinese companies to take part in Croatia’s infrastructure construction.

BOOSTING COOPERATION WITH ESTONIA IN E-COMMERCE

While meeting Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, Li said Estonia is China’s good friend and partner in the Baltic Sea region.

China would encourage its companies to join hands with the Estonian side and participate in local infrastructure construction such as railway and ports.

Beijing will also support Estonia’s efforts in utilizing its advantage in information technology and e-commerce, and exploring new cooperation areas under the 16+1 framework, Li said.

Roivas said Estonia was ready to strengthen bilateral cooperation in transportation and logistics so as to promote cooperation in e-commerce within the 16+1 framework.

MORE COOPERATION WITH BULGARIA IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT PROCESSING

While meeting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Li said the two countries are good friends and partners of mutual trust.

China will encourage its firms to work with the Bulgarian side in agricultural products deep processing, said Li, adding that the two sides could also jointly expand markets in third parties, said Li.

Borissov said Bulgaria attaches high importance to the 16+1 cooperation and wants to speed up its cooperation with China.

He also hopes that companies from the two countries could enhance their bilateral cooperation in markets of the third parties.

CHINA, POLAND ECONOMY HIGHLY COMPLEMENTARY

When meeting Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, Li speaks highly of the development of China-Poland relations and praises Poland for its active role in promoting 16+1 cooperation and China-EU relations.

The economies of China and Poland are highly complementary to each other with great prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation, said Li.

China is willing to step up efforts in aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with Poland’s re-industrialization development strategy, seeking broader converging interests and exploring more cooperation areas in line with the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win results, the premier said.

China would participate in the construction of ports and industrial parks in Poland, using its advantage in equipment manufacturing, Li added.

China is also willing to enhance communication and cooperation with Poland in the fields of technology and education, and boost the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, the premier said.

For his part, Szydlo said the development strategies of Poland and China are compatible to each other with great prospects for economic cooperation.

Poland highly values the development of Poland-China relations and is willing to make more efforts to work out a plan for bilateral pragmatic cooperation, Szydlo said.

Poland is also willing to, in the light of its re-industrialization process, expand cooperation with China in the areas of infrastructure, industrial parks and technology, and deepen cooperation within the framework of 16+1 cooperation, Szydlo added.

BELARUS’ ROLE AS OBSERVER WELCOMED

While meeting Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov, Li said China always views Belarus as a close friend and important partner in Europe, and welcomes its attendance of the 16+1 summit as an observer.

China stands ready to maintain the sound momentum of bilateral ties, keep close high-level exchanges, strengthen cooperation in production capacity and equipment manufacturing while increasing people-to-people exchanges with Belarus, so as to push forward the development of their friendly cooperation, Li said.

Kobyakov said Belarus is willing to strengthen bilateral cooperation in production capacity and equipment manufacturing, promote bilateral trade while expanding financial and tourism cooperation.

COOPERATION WITH CHINA IMPORTANT TO BIH

While meeting Chairman of Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Denis Zvizdic, Li said China is willing to discuss financial cooperation with the BiH while encouraging its companies to participate in BiH’s infrastructure construction in such fields as thermal power and transportation.

China has an advantage in agriculture-product equipment manufacturing and stands ready to conduct cooperation with the BiH in agriculture-products deep processing, he added.

Zvizdic said cooperation with China is very important to BiH, adding that BiH is willing to strengthen bilateral cooperation in such key areas as electricity, transportation and agriculture, and promote the implementation of relevant projects.

REALIZING WIN-WIN COOPERATION IN BETTER WAY WITH HUNGARY

When meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Li said China and Hungary enjoy strong mutual political trust, as their pragmatic cooperation is growing steadily and rather fruitful.

As for the Hungary-Serbia railway project, Li said China is willing to work with Hungary and other relevant parties to continue to build the railway, a flagship project, in good quality, so as to realize mutual-benefit and win-win cooperation in a better way.

China expects Hungary to play an active role as an EU member in prompting the EU to fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in due time, while promoting healthy development of China-EU trade relations, said the premier.

For his part, Orban said Hungary, a reliable partner of Beijing, attaches great importance to its ties with China.

Hungary stands ready to elevate bilateral ties to a new height, while making joint efforts with China to continuously deepen the “16+1” cooperation, said the prime minister, vowing to play an active role in boosting the development of EU-China relations.

CHINA, SERBIA ARE TRUSTWORTHY FRIENDS

During his meeting with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Li said China and Serbian enjoy deep friendship and a strong momentum of development of bilateral ties.

The two countries lifted bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership during Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s visit to the Balkan country in June.

China is willing to continue to maintain good relations with Serbia in the principle of mutual respect, benefit and equality, said Li, adding that China supports Serbia in safeguarding its sovereignty and independence and exploring a development path of its own.

China is willing to work with Serbia to ensure a quality construction of the Hungary-Serbia Railway and highway projects so as to promote the development of bilateral cooperation for more fruitful results, said Li.

Stressing that China and Serbia are “trustworthy friends of each other,” Vucic said the two countries have conducted sound cooperation and scored achievements in areas of infrastructure construction, energy and mining.

Serbia appreciates the fact that China attaches great importance to the relations with Serbia, said Vucic, noting that his country is ready to further deepen cooperation with China.

Li arrived in Riga on Friday for an official visit to Latvia and the 5th summit between the heads of government of China and 16 CEE countries.

This is the first time for a Chinese premier to visit Latvia since it declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Latvia is the third leg of Li’s eight-day Eurasian tour that has already taken him to Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan and will wind up in Russia.

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