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Chinese premier's upcoming visit conducive to cooperation with CEE,SCO countries

(Xinhua)    07:45, November 22, 2017

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming visit is of great importance to China's cooperation with the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries, officials said here Tuesday.

Premier Li will attend the sixth meeting of heads of government of China and CEE countries during his official visit to Hungary from Nov. 26-29, and attend the 16th meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) in the Russian city of Sochi from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1.

"The premier's trip to Hungary is an important visit to Europe by Chinese leaders after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China(CPC)," said Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao at a press briefing.

The China-CEE meeting in Hungary coincides with the fifth anniversary of the establishment of China's cooperation with CEE countries and will be of great significance for expanding 16+1 cooperation and advancing the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, said Wang.

During his stay in Hungary, Li will attend the 16+1 leaders' roundtable and the opening ceremony of the 7th China-CEE countries economic and trade forum, witness the signing of 16+1 cooperation agreements and have meetings with other leaders, according to Wang.

The leaders will mainly discuss issues including connectivity, trade and investment, finance, green economy and innovation, the vice foreign minister added.

Bilateral trade between China and CEE countries rose to 58.7 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 11 percent from 2011.

Calling Hungary an important country in the region, Wang said Premier Li's official visit to Hungary is the first visit by a Chinese leader since the two countries lifted bilateral ties to comprehensive strategic partnership in May this year during Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's visit to China.

Li will hold talks with Orban and meet with Hungarian President Janos Ader and the speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly Laszlo Kover, exchanging views on bilateral ties, Belt and Road construction, China-CEE countries cooperation, China-EU ties and other global and regional hotspot issues.

The two countries will also sign deals on the alignment of development strategies, economy and trade, e-commerce, finance and industrial capacity, Wang said.

Hungary attaches great importance to the Belt and Road initiative and take an active part in the 16+1 cooperation, said Wang, adding that the upcoming visit is conducive to further deepening bilateral ties.

Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang said economic cooperation between China and Hungary is the best in history. Bilateral trade reached nearly 9 billion U.S. dollars in 2016.

Meanwhile, Hungary absorbs the most investment from China in the CEE region, covering areas of chemicals, communications, automobiles, logistics and finance.

As for the SCO heads of government meeting, it is the first of its kind since the SCO membership expansion in June in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The Chinese premier will expound the principles and policies of the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and its significance to the ties between China and the SCO countries, said Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai.

China, which holds the first rotating presidency after the expansion, will work with other countries to promote the Belt and Road construction, and reach new consensus on the alignment of development strategies, connectivity, industrial capacity cooperation and cultural exchanges, he said.

With the accession of India and Pakistan at the 17th SCO summit in Astana, the SCO covers three-fifths of Eurasia, and has nearly half of the world population.

Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang also said China hopes the SCO meeting will help discover new driving forces for economic growth, expand new areas of economic cooperation and fight against trade protectionism.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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