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Chinese vice premier arrives in Belgium for official visit

(Xinhua)

08:14, May 02, 2012

BRUSSELS, May 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called for efforts to further improve Sino-EU ties upon his arrival in Brussels for official visits to Belgium and the EU headquarters.

In a speech delivered at the Abelag airport, Li noted that significant changes had taken place in the current international political and economic situation, and that both China and Europe had entered a key phase in their respective development.

He said he hoped his visits would help strengthen Sino-EU ties, deepen the integration of interests of both sides, expand cooperation, and further promote mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and the European people.

"I hope to exchange views with European leaders on how to deepen Sino-EU ties and expand mutually beneficial cooperation under the new circumstances, so as to further push forward Sino-EU comprehensive strategic partnership to a new and higher level," he said.

Meanwhile, Li also hailed Sino-Belgian ties, adding that official exchanges at all levels between the two countries, as well as fruitful cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, culture, science and education over the past few years, had benefited both counties and people on both sides.

He said he wished to discuss with Belgian leaders during his visit ways to promote mutual political trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation in all fields, and enhance friendship between people from both sides.

"I believe my visit here will further strengthen our confidence in the development of Sino-EU and Sino-Belgian ties, consolidate our determination to promote pragmatic cooperation, and lift Sino-EU and Sino-Belgian ties to a new level," Li said.

Li is here at the invitation of the EU authorities and the Belgian government. During his visit, he will meet with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Belgian King Albert II and Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. He will also attend a high-level urbanization forum and an energy meeting.

Belgium is the third leg of Li's European visit, which has already taken him to Russia and Hungary.

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