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Premier Li: 16+1 cooperation open and transparent

Updated: May 25,2018 8:19 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint news conference after their talks, at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, capital of China, May 24, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — The 16+1 cooperation carried out within the framework of China-Europe relationship and under European Union (EU) laws and regulations is open and transparent, Premier Li Keqiang said on May 24.

Premier Li made the remarks when meeting with journalists together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after they held talks in Beijing.

Premier Li said the 16+1 cooperation, a cooperation mechanism between China and 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, is an important part and beneficial supplement of China-Europe relations.

It is conducive to the common development of China and the CEE countries, a more balanced development of Europe, and the European integration process, he said.

China has always firmly supported the European integration and believes that a united, stable, prosperous EU and a strong euro are in China’s fundamental interests, Premier Li said.

“The 16+1 cooperation has always been carried out within the framework of China-Europe ties and under relevant EU laws and regulations. It is open and transparent,” Premier Li said, adding that China and Germany should combine their complementary advantages with the development needs of the CEE countries in order to explore third-party market cooperation.

Merkel said the 16+1 cooperation is a beneficial platform that enhances the infrastructure construction in the CEE countries.

She also said the advantages of the CEE countries and China complement each other and the 16+1 cooperation can benefit the EU, rather than split it.