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Foreign Ministry Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on 4th China-CEEC Meeting of Heads of Government

2015/11/17

On November 17, 2015, the Foreign Ministry held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming attendance of the 4th Meeting of Heads of Government of China and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC). Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao and Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan introduced relevant information and answered questions from the journalists.

Wang Chao said that Premier Li Keqiang will attend the4thChina-CEEC Meeting of Heads of Government in Suzhou from November 24 to 25, and after that, President Xi Jinping will hold a group meeting with CEEC leaders in Beijing. During the 4th China-CEEC Meeting of Heads of Government, Premier Li Keqiang will attend the"16+1" Leaders' Roundtable Meeting, attend and address the opening ceremony of the 5th China-CEEC Economic and Trade Forum, and respectively meet with CEEC leaders present at the meeting. Besides, representatives of relevant parties including the EU will attend the China-CEEC Meeting of Heads of Government as observers.

The 4th China-CEEC Meeting of Heads of Government is an important diplomatic event to be hosted by China this year, and another major diplomatic action of China towards the EU after President Xi Jinping's successful visit to the UK, bearing great significance in promoting China-CEEC cooperation and in pushing sustained, balanced and in-depth development of China-EU relations.

The theme of the meeting is "New Starting Point, New Fields and New Vision". New starting point means that it is the first time for China to hold the meeting and the "16+1 cooperation" is at an important development stage of inheriting the past and ushering in the future. New fields mean that the meeting aims at putting forward new measures, creating new highlights and opening up new areas. New vision means that the meeting will focus on top-level design to chart the development course for the coming 5 years. Premier Li Keqiang and leaders of the 16 countries will mainly discuss how to enhance cooperation in such fields as connectivity, trade and investment, finance, quality control of agricultural products as well as people-to-people and cultural engagement, and issue an outcome document after the meeting.

China strives to be a good host and will work with other countries to earnestly carry out all preparatory work. It is believed that with the joint efforts of all sides, the meeting will be a complete success, serve as a new milestone in the process of "16+1 cooperation", push the cooperation to a new level and add new energy to China-EU relations.

When talking about the "16+1 cooperation", Wang Chao expressed that with more than 3 years' development, the "16+1 cooperation" has become gradually mature and laid a solid foundation, and moreover, it now embraces rare development opportunities. First, this year marks the comprehensive implementation of the "Belt and Road" initiative and the rooting of international production capacity cooperation, which helps the "16+1 cooperation" ride the tide to achieve greater development. Second, China and the EU are putting into place the four major partnerships and have reached important consensus on docking each other's development strategies, which brings broader development space to the "16+1 cooperation". Third, the 17 countries are showing more aspiration for cooperation and have actively participated and put advantageous resources in the "16+1 cooperation", which will inject ever-ending impetus into their cooperation and development.

Gao Yan expressed that China and the CEEC are now making smooth progress in economic and trade cooperation. First, bilateral trade is now embracing new development opportunities. The volume of import and export between China and the 16 countries rose to 60.2 billion USD in 2014 from 43.9 billion USD in 2010. With enhanced cooperation in "Belt and Road" construction, international production capacity, equipment manufacturing and other areas, the two sides will usher in a new spring for their trade. Second, bilateral investment is yielding new results. According to incomplete statistics, the total volume of investment made by the Chinese enterprises in the CEEC has exceeded 5 billion USD and the 16 countries have invested over 1.2 billion USD in China, with broader investment areas and more investment forms. Third, bilateral cooperation in infrastructure construction is making new breakthroughs. The "Belt and Road" construction is bringing closer China and the CEEC and thus both sides now enjoy huge cooperation potential in transportation, energy infrastructure and other sectors.

Wang Chao also introduced relevant information on President Andrzej Duda of Poland, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republic taking the opportunity of attending the 4thChina-CEEC Meeting of Heads of Government to visit China.

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