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King Mohammed VI of Morocco begins China trip

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Moroccan King Mohammed the sixth has paid an official visit to China. The king landed in Beijing Wednesday and chaired a signing ceremony of several bilateral agreements together with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The king will also meet with several Chinese senior governmental officials.

Chinese President Xi Jinping(L) holds a welcoming ceremony for King Mohammed VI of Morocco before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 11, 2016. [Xinhua] 

This is the Moroccan king's second state visit to China after the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1958. After a grand ceremony, the two leaders held talks to further promote bilateral relations. They also signed several agreements in various fields, including that of a strategic partnership based on mutual respect, equality, and interests.

"Building a strategic partnership is a milestone in the development of bilateral ties. China has always attached an importance to Sino-Moroccan relations, and sees Morocco as an important regional partner. The bilateral ties will come to a new starting point after the establishment of this strategic partnership," Xi said.

King Mohammed the sixth also shared the same sentiment, and thanked China for its long term support to Morocco and Africa.

"The strategic partnership will be a turning point for Morocco's development. Morocco is willing to enhance cooperation with China in various fields," King Mohammed said.

China and Morocco share close or similar views on many international issues. Bilateral trade has seen rapid growth in areas of fishery, communications, and project contracting.

Cooperation in finance and new energy have also unfolded.

"The biggest achievement of the king's state visit is the establishment of the strategic partnership between the two countries. It lays a solid foundation for a smooth cooperation in various fields between China and Morocco for a considerably long period of time. The two countries will keep, and enhance high-level contacts so as to improve mutual trust," said deputy foreign minister Zhang Ming said.

The trade volume between the two countries reached more than U.S.$3 billion last year, 10 times larger than that of the year 2000, but a slight drop compared to 2014. Morocco is now seeking a stronger partnership with China, and new dynamics to bilateral economic cooperation are highly anticipated by both sides.


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