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Premier Li praises progress in ties as he meets Croatian president

Updated: Oct 15,2015 7:33 PM

Premier Li Keqiang meets with Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Beijing, Oct 15, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

Premier Li Keqiang highlighted the progress in ties as he met with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Oct 15 in Beijing.

The Premier said China and Croatia enjoy deep traditional friendship and mentioned Grabar-Kitarovic’s fruitful discussions earlier with President Xi Jinping. The Croatian leader is on a state visit to China and Li said China is willing to push forward cooperation with Croatia in all aspects under the principle of mutual respect, equal treatment and political trust.

Premier Li said this year is a significant year in the development of China’s relations with Central and East European (CEE) countries and cooperation between China and these countries has grown over the years, and this has contributed greatly to the cooperation between China and Croatia.

China, he said, welcomes Croatia’s decision to take part in the fourth leadership meeting between China and the CEE countries which will be held in China this year. China also hopes to expand cooperation with Croatia in international capacity cooperation, especially in infrastructure construction such as the rail and port sectors. The special loans and funds that have been set up to facilitate cooperation between China and CEE countries, along with other financing vehicles, will contribute to the smooth operation of those projects, Li said.

Premier Li Keqiang meets with Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Beijing, Oct 15, 2015.[Photo/China News Service]

He also noted that China’s cooperation with the CEE countries is an integral part of China-Europe cooperation. China hopes that Croatia, as a member of the European Union, will play a bigger role in pushing forward China-EU relations.

Grabar-Kitarovic said bilateral cooperation has led to smooth progress in the past decade since the two countries formed their comprehensive partnership relations. Croatia, she said, has always been and will continue to be an active partner in cooperation between China and CEE countries. She said Croatia hopes it can continue to serve as a trusted partner of China in the EU and a gateway for Chinese companies to enter the European market. Croatia welcomes more Chinese investment, she added, especially in projects that will improve connectivity and innovation, and is willing to provide added convenience for such investment.