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China, CEE countries vow to boost practical cooperation

Updated: Dec 17,2014 12:58 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec 16, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

BELGRADE — China and six Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries on Dec 16 agreed to promote cooperation in extensive areas ranging from infrastructure to energy.

The consensus was reached when Premier Li Keqiang met in Belgrade separately with his counterparts from Slovenia, Latvia, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Romania ahead of the third China-CEE Leaders’ Meeting.

In the meeting with his Slovenian counterpart, Miro Cerar, Li said the smooth development of China-Slovenia relations and their strong economic complementarity have created a broad prospect for practical cooperation.

China, he said, stands ready to encourage its enterprises to actively take part in the development of Slovenia’s Koper port as well as Slovenia’s infrastructure construction and nuclear power plant upgrading.

Meanwhile, China is also ready to expand tourism cooperation with the CEE country, Li added.

Cerar said Slovenia is willing to expand cooperation with China in such areas as infrastructure construction, tourism and investment.

He said his country is willing to develop the port of Koper into a gateway for Chinese commodities to Europe and increase exports to China at the same time.

While meeting with his Latvian counterpart, Laimdota Straujuma, Li said China is ready to increase investment in Latvia and participate in the privatization process of the country’s enterprises, so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

He said China hopes to work closely with Latvia, which will hold the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) in the first half of 2015, to step up negotiations for a China-EU investment agreement.

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec 16, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

Hailing the desirable development of bilateral relations, Straujuma said Latvia stands ready to strengthen cooperation with China in such areas as agriculture, inter-connectivity and logistics, and to speed up EU-China investment negotiations.

While meeting with Montenegro Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic, Li called for more bilateral cooperation in areas including ship-building, energy, transportation and infrastructure construction.

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec 16, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

He also vowed to encourage Chinese companies to join the construction of thermal power and hydropower projects in Montenegro.

Noting that China and Montenegro have signed a financing and loan agreement for a major highway project in Montenegro, Li said he hopes that construction will start as early as possible.

Dukanovic said Montenegro is willing to strengthen bilateral cooperation with China in such areas as trade, ship-building, highway construction, energy and education.

He also pledged to actively participate in the construction of the Hungary-Serbia railway so as to lift China-Montenegro relations and CEE-China cooperation to higher levels.

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec 16, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

While meeting with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Li hailed the sound development of bilateral relations and called on the two sides to strengthen cooperation in such areas as nuclear power, finance and aviation.

He said China will support its companies participating in the construction of industrial and technological parks in the Czech Republic and welcomes Czech involvement in the development of western China.

Sobotka said his country hopes to host the next CEE-China leaders’ meeting and strengthen cooperation with China in areas including economy and trade, health care, investment, tourism and culture.

The Czech Republic wants to be a bridgehead for Chinese companies to enter the European market, he added.

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Vjekoslav Bevanda, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec 16, 2014.[Photo/Xinhua]

While meeting with Chairman Vjekoslav Bevanda of the BiH Council of Ministers, Li called on the two countries to further strengthen their relationship and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and reciprocity.

He said China will continue to support its companies joining BiH’s construction of transportation infrastructure such as railways and roads.

Speaking highly of the CEE-China cooperation mechanism and their ever growing cooperation, Bevanda said the two sides enjoy huge potential for cooperation.

He called for more bilateral cooperation in areas including railway and road construction, agriculture and health with the help of China’s technology and equipment, so as to benefit the two peoples and the region as a whole.

In his meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Li called on the two sides to fast-track their cooperation in nuclear power and thermal power projects and expand cooperation in transportation infrastructure.

Premier Li Keqiang meets with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec 16, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta in Belgrade, Serbia, on Dec 16, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

He also said China hopes that Romania and Moldova will start consultations on their high-speed railway project at an early date and conduct cooperation studies with the Chinese side.

Ponta said that his country is willing to enhance cooperation with China in such areas as nuclear power, thermal power, high-speed railway, aviation, agriculture and culture, so as to further promote bilateral relations and CEE-China cooperation.

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