TALLINN — The “16+1” cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries injects new vitality into the China-Estonia relationship, Chinese Ambassador to Estonia Qu Zhe wrote on Nov 23.
In an article titled “Advance ‘16+1’ Cooperation into New Era Together” published by the Estonian financial newspaper Aripaev, Qu said that the “16+1” summit is now an indispensable platform for frequent communication between government leaders and has become essential for enhancing mutual trust and promoting China-Estonia practical cooperation in the fields of politics, economy and trade, culture and education, tourism as well as people-to-people exchanges.
He expressed the confidence that leaders from China and the 16 CEE countries will take the opportunity of the sixth meeting of heads of government of China and CEE countries to be held in Budapest, Hungary next week to build on achievements over the past five years after the first meeting of heads of government of China and CEE countries held in Warsaw, Poland in spring 2012.
The “16+1” cooperation compliments and provides added value to bilateral relations between China and each of the 16 CEE countries and the China-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, said the ambassador.
“Based upon the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China and the 16 CEE countries work hand in hand to strengthen practical cooperation in various fields,” Qu said.
Central and Eastern Europe is an area which sees active exchanges between Asia and Europe, and the alignment of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Investment Plan for Europe (or Juncker Plan) provides new opportunities for “16+1” cooperation, said Qu.
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that was held in Beijing in October came to the important conclusion that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered into a new era and the principal contradiction facing Chinese society has evolved into a contradiction between unbalanced and inadequate development and the people’s ever-growing needs for a better life.
“The Party Congress drew up a two-stage development plan for the period from 2020 to the middle of this century. In the first stage from 2020 to 2035, we will build on the foundation created by the moderately prosperous society to see that socialist modernization is basically realized. In the second stage from 2035 to the middle of the 21st century, we will develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful,” Qu said.
China’s economy has contributed more than 30 percent on average to global growth for the past four years, and it will continue to be one of the main engines of the world economy in the years ahead, said the ambassador.
“We are committed to deepening comprehensive reforms and opening our doors wider to the world. We are ready to work together with other countries to make global growth more invigorated, more coordinated, more inclusive and more sustainable so as to build a community of shared future for mankind,” Qu added.
In the coming five years, China is expected to import $8 trillion of goods, attract $600 billion of foreign investment and make $750 billion of outbound investment, which will create a bigger market, more capital, more products and more opportunities for other countries, said the ambassador.
The “16+1” cooperation between China and CEE countries is expected to enter a new era and usher in a new chapter for bilateral relations and China-EU cooperation, Qu said.