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Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Briefing for Li Keqiang's Attendance at International Meetings and Visit to Hungary

On November 21, 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the 6th Summit of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), his official visit to Hungary and attendance at the 16th Meeting of the Council of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) held in Russia. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao, Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai and Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang introduced the relevant information and answered the questions from journalists.

I. On Attendance at the 6th Summit of Heads of Government of China and CEEC and Official Visit to Hungary

Wang Chao expressed that at the invitation of Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, Premier Li Keqiang will travel to Hungary to attend the 6th Summit of Heads of Government of China and CEEC and pay an official visit to Hungary from November 26 to 29. The visit is an important round trip to Europe by a Chinese leader after the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The meeting coincides with the fifth anniversary of the launching of the "16+1 cooperation" and will be of great significance for expanding the in-depth development of the "16+1 cooperation" and advancing China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. The Summit of Heads of Government is themed with "deepening economic, trade and financial cooperation for win-win development". During the meeting in Hungary, Premier Li Keqiang will attend the "16+1" Leaders' Roundtable Meeting and the opening ceremony of the 7th China-CEEC Economic and Trade Forum, witness the signing of the "16+1 cooperation" project agreements with leaders of the 16 countries as well as hold bilateral meetings with CEEC leaders.

The leaders of the 17 countries will mainly discuss exchanges and cooperation in such fields as how to strengthen connectivity, trade and investment, finance, green economy, scientific and technological innovation and people-to-people and cultural engagement as well as make in-depth exchanges on global issues of common concern. After the summit, the Budapest Guideline for China-CEEC Cooperation, the Outcome Lists for the Budapest Summit and the Outcome Lists for China-CEEC Cooperation in the Past 5 Years will be released.

Wang Chao noted that as an important country in Central and Eastern Europe and a member state of the EU, Hungary is a comprehensive strategic partner of China. Hungary attaches great importance to the Belt and Road Initiative and actively participates in the "16+1 cooperation". It is the first visit by a Chinese leader since the establishment of China-Hungary comprehensive strategic partnership as well as a return visit for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's visit to China this May, which bears important historical significance for further deepening the development of China-Hungary relations. During his visit, Premier Li Keqiang will attend welcome ceremony and signing ceremony, hold talks, and jointly meet the press. Premier Li Keqiang will also meet with President Janos Ader of Hungary and Speaker of the National Assembly Laszlo Kover of Hungary. Premier Li Keqiang will exchange in-depth views with leaders of Hungary on bilateral relations, the "Belt and Road" construction, China-CEEC cooperation, China-EU relations and international and regional hotspot issues of common concern, and provide guidelines for the development of bilateral relations in the future and the deepening of practical cooperation. Both sides also plan to sign multiple inter-governmental and commercial cooperation agreements covering the integration of development strategies, economy and trade, e-commerce, finance and production capacity and other fields.

Li Chenggang expressed that since the establishment of the "16+1 cooperation" mechanism five years ago, bilateral economic and trade cooperation has entered a fast lane, with a large batch of major projects including infrastructure, connectivity and financial cooperation being steadily advanced and successively completed, which marks the cooperation mechanism has entered the mature period and harvest time. At present, China-Hungary economic and trade cooperative relations have entered the best period of history with bilateral trade showing a growth trend in general. Hungary is also the country that enjoys the most Chinese investments in the Central and Eastern Europe. Those investments cover chemical industry, telecommunications, automobile, logistics, finance and other areas.

II. On Attendance at the 16th Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) Held in Russia

Li Huilai expressed that at the invitation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of the Government of the Russian Federation, Premier Li Keqiang will attend the 16th Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) held in Sochi from November 30 to December 1. On the sidelines of the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang will attend small-scale talks and large-scale talks, take group photos, as well as attend signing ceremony and other activities, and will also hold bilateral meetings with leaders of relevant countries.

Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Russia for the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) is a major diplomatic action of China to Eurasia after the 19th CPC National Congress. It is also the first meeting of heads of government (Prime Ministers) after the SCO's expansion. During the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang will publicize and introduce the important significance of the relevant policies of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era to the further development of China's relations with the SCO member states. As the first rotating presidency of the SCO after its expansion, China will work with various parties to push forward and deepen the joint construction of the "Belt and Road" cooperation, and reach new consensus on enhancing the integration of development strategies, connectivity, production capacity cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges and other fields. According to the general practice, a joint communiqués will be signed and issued at the meeting, and numerous resolutions will be adopted. It is believed that under joint efforts of various parties, this meeting of heads of government (Prime Ministers) will make new contributions to elevating the SCO cooperation in various fields to higher levels and promoting regional security, stability, development and prosperity under the new situation.

Li Chenggang expressed that China has three expectations in economy and trade from this meeting. First is to push forward economic and trade investment and cooperation and tap new impetus for economic growth. Second is to expand cooperation areas and add driving forces to development. Third is to jointly support multilateral trading regime, and oppose trade protectionism. The Chinese side hopes to work with various parties to jointly push forward this meeting for positive and practical outcomes in economy and trade, and lead the SCO regional economic cooperation to new stages.

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