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China, Croatia to embrace more opportunities for cooperation
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Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Croatia will nurture new opportunities for both sides to further the comprehensive partnership of cooerpation, the Chinese ambassador to Croatia said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

Noting that both sides have long enjoyed traditional friendly ties, Wu Lianqi said bilateral relations have undergone all-round development since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1992 and formed comprehensive partnership of cooperation in 2005.

President Hu's state visit, scheduled for June 19-20, the first by a Chinese president since the establishment of diplomatic ties, marks a milestone in the development of their bilateral ties, Wu said.

The recent years saw frequent exchanges of high-level visits and exchanges, and enhanced political trust and broader consensus between the two countries, Wu noted.

During his 2002 China tour, President Stjepan Mesic signed with the then Chinese President Jiang Zemin a joint statement on strengthening their relations of mutually beneficial cooperation.

In 2005, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader visited China and signed with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao a joint statement on establishing a comprehensive partnership of cooperation.

Last year, Jia Qinglin, chairman of China's top advisory body the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), visited Croatia. President Mesic attended the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and held talks with President Hu, to list some of the major tours.

Bilateral trade cooperation has registered steady growth, with trade volume expanding year after year. In 2008, bilateral trade volume reached nearly 1.8 billion U.S. dollars, Wu said.

The two countries also expanded their practical cooperation in culture, education, science, technology, and tourism. People-to-people exchanges and those at the local levels are going at full steam.

The two countries have understood and supported each other in international affairs. Sharing similar or identical views on many international issues, they have maintained close communications and cooperation in many international organizations such as the United Nations, Wu said.

During his visit to Croatia, President Hu will hold separate talks with President Mesic and Prime Minister Sanader on bilateral ties and regional and international issues of common concern, Wu said, adding that the two sides will also sign a number of documents in the fields of economy, health and aviation.

Moreover, sponsored by China's Ministry of Commerce, more than 200 Chinese entrepreneurs will attend the China-Croatia Commerce Forum and business fairs jointly held by the departments concerned of the two countries.

The business communities of the two countries are expected to find more business opportunities through closer contacts in a bid to expand trade cooperation and jointly tackle challenges posed by the global financial crisis. President Mesic expressed the belief that Croatian business community will benefit greatly from this visit.

The ambassador noted that local media viewed Hu's visit as an indication that China highly values its ties with Croatia. Their bilateral ties may well serve as a model for relations between big and small countries.

As Prime Minister Sanader put it, the visit will further consolidate the traditional friendship between the two countries and deepen their cooperation in various fields, Wu said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 18, 2009)

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