Full text of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's remarks at the Fourth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (1)

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Following is an English version of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's remarks at the Fourth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries on Tuesday.

Remarks by H.E. Li Keqiang

Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China

At the Fourth Summit of

China and Central and Eastern European Countries

Suzhou, 24 November 2015

Dear Colleagues,

I am very glad to be with you in Suzhou. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, let me warmly welcome leaders from the 16 Central and Eastern European countries to China for the Fourth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries. I also welcome the representatives from the EU, Austria, Greece and EBRD to attend the meeting as observers.

China's ancient thinker Confucius once said that "three years of hard work will surely lead to accomplishments". Over the past three years, the 16+1 cooperation, just like a fast-speed train, has set out on its journey and gained speed all the way from Warsaw to Bucharest, and from Belgrade to Suzhou. Such a fast train has traveled to where it is today because every carriage has served to provide incessant driving force to ensure that our cooperation is steady and produces lasting results. I am confident that this meeting will not only help promote the political mutual trust among us, but also facilitate new progress in our practical cooperation.

In 2012, China and 16 CEECs reached agreement and opened a new avenue of cooperation between China and European countries, linking the world's largest developing country and CEECs ever more closely. Over the past years, through platforms such as the Economic and Trade Forum, Secretariat for Cooperation, National Coordinators' Meeting, Ministerial Meeting on Promoting Trade and Economic Cooperation and Local Leaders' Meeting, we have advanced and expanded 16+1 cooperation, which is getting increasingly enriched and mature. The common documents issued at the previous three meetings have proposed over 100 cooperation measures and projects covering economy, trade, investment, infrastructure, finance, tourism, education, agriculture, culture, local cooperation and other areas. Most measures put forward in the Bucharest Guidelines and Belgrade Guidelines have been or are being implemented to the benefit of people of our countries.

The development of 16+1 cooperation has yielded fruitful results. Valuable experience has been gained that we need to cherish and carry forward. China and CEECs enjoy close historical bonds and deep traditional friendship. Moreover, we have built solid political trust under new circumstances. Our cooperation has not only reflected the principles of equality, openness and inclusiveness, but also actively synergized our respective development strategies in a flexible way suited to our respective national conditions. Our cooperation has fully accommodated the relevant concerns of the EU and moved in parallel with the greater interests of China-EU cooperation. It shows our commitment to achieving all-win outcomes for China, CEECs and the EU. It is fair to say that we have explored a new model of practical cooperation among countries in different regions of the world and with different systems.

The world is now undergoing profound and complex changes. The global economy is still in doldrums. Certain regions and countries are in turmoil. Fluctuations are increasing in the international financial market. Countries in the world are speeding up structural reforms and expanding cooperation with the outside world. Many European countries have placed greater importance on their cooperation with China. China is now formulating its 13th Five-Year Plan and will focus its energy on promoting innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development in order to achieve the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020. This is bound to offer greater market space for China-CEEC cooperation. In this sense, we will embrace unprecedented new opportunities to deepen our cooperation across the board.

Despite the ups and downs in the international situation, cooperation between China and the CEECs, which is making steady headway, has become a spotlight on the global and regional stage. The theme of the meeting this year is "new beginning, new domains and new vision". Today, I wish to propose a "1+6" cooperation framework for our future cooperation, which includes one goal and six priorities. One goal means that we will formulate an agenda for cooperation for the next five years, make our cooperation more sustainable and forward-looking, and build a new model of partnership featuring openness, inclusiveness and win-win outcomes. Six priorities refer to the tasks in the following aspects on which we need to concentrate, bearing in mind both the short-term and long-term interests:

First, we need to implement the roadmap for advancing cooperation. China and the EU have agreed that the two sides will work to synergize the Belt and Road initiative with the development plan for Europe, the international cooperation on industrial capacity with the Investment Plan for Europe, and 16+1 cooperation with China-EU cooperation. This has laid a solid foundation for medium- and long-term cooperation between China and CEECs. At the meeting, two political documents will be issued, namely, the first Medium-term Plan for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries and the Suzhou Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries. The Medium-term Plan will draw a blueprint for our cooperation in the next five years. It will follow the priority areas of China's 13th Five-Year Plan and enable China and CEECs to share each other's development opportunities. The Suzhou Guidelines will provide a roadmap for specific cooperation in the near future. China is ready to work with the 16 countries to deliver on cooperation projects. Implementation of the meeting's outcomes will be duly evaluated and reviewed to make sure that our people truly feel the benefit of our cooperation.

Second, we need to promote synergy between the Belt and Road initiative and the development strategies of CEECs, and conduct cooperation on infrastructure development. Given the sluggish world economy recovery and the downward pressure facing the economy of various countries, infrastructure development will help boost consumption through investment, and greater connectivity will bring forward trade liberalization and investment facilitation. Located at the east gateway to Europe and along the routes of the Belt and Road initiative, CEECs enjoy a distinct advantage for enhancing connectivity. China is ready to discuss and sign cooperation agreements on connectivity with CEECs. We may form synergy between our respective policies and work faster to build demonstrative projects. In November 2013, the leaders of China, Hungary and Serbia jointly announced the Belgrade-Budapest railway project, and this year has witnessed substantive progress in the joint endeavor. Today, China will sign relevant agreement respectively with Hungary and Serbia to kick-start and advance the project. China is ready to work with other parties, including countries along this route, to build the China-Europe land-sea express line and promote connectivity in Europe. We also encourage businesses to be involved in cooperation in transport and logistics. China hopes to carry out customs cooperation with relevant countries to make customs clearing more convenient along the land-sea express line. We may work together to develop China-Europe rail links and expand exchanges and cooperation on civil aviation. We welcome Serbia and Latvia to lead the respective efforts for setting up associations on transport infrastructure and logistics cooperation with a view to creating new platforms for our connectivity cooperation. (mo

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