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China, Belgium pledge to enhance cooperation, lift ties to new high

Updated: Oct 19,2016 4:37 PM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Ma Kai (L) meets with Kris Peeters, Belgian deputy prime minister and minister of employment, economy and consumer affairs, in charge of foreign trade, in Brussels, Belgium, Oct 18, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

BRUSSELS — China and Belgium have agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation and elevate their relations to a new high.

The pledge was made on Oct 18 during visiting Vice-Premier Ma Kai’s meeting with Kris Peeters, Belgian deputy prime minister and minister of employment, economy and consumer affairs, in charge of foreign trade.

Lauding the smooth development of bilateral ties in recent years, Ma said that the China-Belgium relationship is at its height and the momentum for further cooperation remains strong. The two countries decided to upgrade their relations to an all-around partnership of friendship and cooperation in 2014.

Recalling President Xi Jinping’s visit to Belgium in 2014 and Belgian King Philippe’s visit to China in the following year, Ma said high-level interactions between the two nations are getting closer and political mutual trust is increasingly strengthened.

“China values its ties with Belgium,” Ma said, noting that China is actively preparing for the upcoming visit of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, which is expected to inject new impetus into China-Belgium relations.

He added that China is willing to join hands with Belgium to deepen political mutual trust and cooperation in various fields, especially investment, finance, high-end industries, regional cooperation as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, in a bid to elevate bilateral ties to a new high.

As to the problem of global steel overcapacity, Ma said that the fundamental settlement is to push for a strong, balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth of the world economy, which requires joint efforts from all countries, adding that China has shown strong determination by applying practical and effective measures to address the issue.

In terms of Article 15 of the protocol on China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the vice-premier stressed that all WTO members should respect the rules and deliver on its obligations.

Peeters said Belgium is looking forward to Prime Minister Michel’s upcoming visit to China, expressing the hope that the cooperation with China on aerospace, finance, regional development, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as other areas would be further enhanced.

Belgium welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in Belgium and will create a friendly environment for that purpose, he added.

Ma is in Brussels to co-chair the sixth China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue with European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen.

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