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Vice-premier discusses ties, cooperation with Lithuanian president

Updated: Jun 23,2015 6:56 AM     Xinhua

Visiting Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (L) meets with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in Vilnius, Lithuania, June 22, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (5th R) meets with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite (4th L) in Vilnius, Lithuania, June 22, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

VILNIUS — Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli met with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in Vilnius on June 22, calling on the two countries to deepen practical cooperation in various areas.

Since China and Lithuania established diplomatic ties 24 years ago, friendship and cooperation have always been the mainstream of bilateral relations, Zhang said.

China attaches great importance to its relations with Lithuania and is ready to lift bilateral ties to higher levels, he added.

The two countries, he said, should grasp the opportunity of the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year to further enhance mutual trust, fully take care of each other’s core interests and major concerns, and deepen practical cooperation in various fields, so as to elevate the bilateral relations to new heights for the benefit of both peoples.

China and Lithuania share great potential in trade and economic cooperation, Zhang said, adding that his country is ready to import more Lithuanian goods in order to advance growth of bilateral trade in a more balanced way.

China not only encourages its companies to invest and set up operations in Lithuania, but also welcomes Lithuanian companies to explore the Chinese market, he said.

He expressed the willingness to expand bilateral cooperation into such areas as laser technology, biological science and clean energy.

Zhang pointed out that China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative has received enthusiastic responses from the international community, especially the countries located along the proposed economic corridors.

The “Belt and Road” Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, which were proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013. They aim at linking countries in Asia, Europe and even Africa for common development.

Zhang voiced his hope that China and Lithuania will strengthen integration of their national development strategies, prioritize the scheduled China-Europe railway and infrastructure construction, so as to make breakthroughs on large-scale cooperation projects.

On people-to-people and cultural exchanges, he said China and Lithuania should encourage cooperation in the areas of culture, education, local governments, sports and tourism.

The vice-premier called on the two countries to work together to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, so as to consolidate the foundation of bilateral relations.

Zhang expressed appreciation for Lithuania’s support for and active role in the cooperation between China and the 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs).

China welcomes Lithuania to play an even bigger role within the “16+1” cooperation mechanism, especially in promoting transport and logistics cooperation and Asia-Europe interconnectivity, he said.

Noting that China will host the fourth “16+1” leaders’ meeting in Beijing later this year, Zhang said China is ready to join hands with Lithuania to accelerate the implementation of the Belgrade Guidelines for China-CEECs cooperation reached last year, so as to achieve even more substantial fruits.

For her part, Grybauskaite said China’s development is of great significance for boosting the recovery of the global economy and safeguarding world peace and stability.

The “Belt and Road” Initiative has laid a solid foundation for expanding practical cooperation between the two countries, which is conductive to the long-term development of bilateral relations, she said.

Lithuania is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in such areas as transport, construction of ports and other infrastructure, investment, finance, trade of farm products, and high technology, she said.

Lithuania supports the feasibility study on establishing a Europe-China free trade zone, Grybauskaite said, adding that her country is willing to take an active part in the “16+1” cooperation mechanism.

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