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Premier Li meets with Belgian PM

Updated: Oct 31,2016 11:04 PM

Premier Li Keqiang on Oct 31 met with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, in Beijing at the Great Hall of the People.

Premier Li said that the bilateral relationship between China and Belgium has a good development prospect, with frequent exchanges, consolidated political trust, increased pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

With 45 years of diplomatic ties behind them, China is willing to work with Belgium to deepen pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people ties and add new vigor to the development of bilateral relations, said the Premier.

He pointed out that Belgium has long been a leader among European countries in developing pragmatic cooperation with China, and China is glad to develop better links of development strategy with Belgium, explore new growth points, and strengthen cooperation in science and technological innovation and advanced manufacturing.

The Premier said he hopes Belgium will expand its export of high-tech products to China for win-win collaboration. Belgium is an important member of the European Union (EU), and it is also an important partner of China in EU, he added.

He stressed that China firmly supports the integration process of Europe and hopes to see a unified, stable and prosperous EU. China is glad to carry forward cooperation based on the current consensus with EU.

The Premier said he hopes Belgium will exert its influence to propel EU to fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to end the “surrogate country system”, and speed up China-EU investment agreement negotiations and the feasibility study of China-EU free trade area, sending signals for anti-protectionism of trade and boosting the healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.

Michel said that Belgium and China witnessed close high-level exchanges and development of bilateral relations, and Belgium is willing to strengthen the exchanges and cooperation with China in political, economic, and cultural sectors.

Belgium is committed to free trade and will make efforts to expand trade and investment cooperation with China in sectors such as husbandry, information and communications, and finance and insurance. Belgium hopes to be a gateway for Chinese companies to invest in Europe, he said.

He added that Belgium is also willing to manage issues concerning the European Union’s obligations in the World Trade Organization with a pragmatic attitude and boost negotiations for an investment agreement between China and the European Union.

The leaders also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

After the meeting, Premier Li and Prime Minister Michel witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in the sectors of justice, infrastructure, and high technology.