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|Thursday, September 06, 2001, updated at 09:26(GMT+8)|
Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji Arrives in Brussels
Zhu and his wife, Lao An, were greeted at airport by Patrick van Haute, minister plenipotentiary, head of the Asia-Pacific Division of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Chinese premier told the press upon his arrival that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the role of the 15- member EU on the world stage and the development of full partnership between China and the European bloc.
Further strengthening of equal and mutually beneficial Sino-EU cooperation in various fields conforms to both sides' basic and long-term interests, and is also conducive to peace, stability and development in the world, Zhu said in a written statement released at airport.
Noting the year of 2001 marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium, Zhu said the Sino-Belgian relations have been developing very well with enhanced mutual understanding and fruitful cooperation over the past 30 years.
The friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries has a solid foundation and a broad prospect, said the Chinese premier. He also hoped that he and Belgian leaders will work together through his visit to review bilateral ties and look for ways to push forward the Sino-Belgian relations.
After a four-day official visit to Ireland, Belgium is the second leg of Zhu's four-nation tour, which will also take him to Russia and Kazakhstan.
During his two-day visit in Brussels, the Chinese premier is going to meet Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, whose country is the holding current EU Presidency, European Commission President Romano Prodi and EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana at the Sino-EU summit.
Leaders from both sides will discuss how to strengthen the EU- China relations as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern at the summit on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Zhu will pay an official visit to Belgium at the invitation of Verhofstandt. China and Belgium have already started to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of Sino-Belgian diplomatic relations with various kinds of cultural activities.
The two countries officially set up diplomatic ties on October 25, 1971.
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