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Premier Li welcomes Belgian PM in Beijing

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Premier Li Keqiang has met Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Beijing. They agreed to deepen mutual political trust and cooperation in various fields, especially investment, finance and high-end industries.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L, front) holds a welcoming ceremony for Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 31, 2016. [Xinhua] 

Braving the bitter cold, the two friends gather together for closer economic and trade ties.

Premier Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for the visiting Belgian Prime Minister at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Belgium was one of the first Western European countries to establish diplomatic relations with China, in the 1970s, and the two countries have enjoyed a sound relationship for 45 years.

Premier Li said China values its ties with Belgium and regards the country as an important partner in the European Union. Li Keqiang proposed greater cooperation in technological innovation, high-end manufacturing, and sustainable development.

On the issue of China's market-economy status, Premier Li stressed that all members of the World Trade Organization should respect the rules, deliver on their obligations and fight against protectionism.

The Belgian prime minister said Belgium will adhere to free trade and maintain sustainable and stable development of economic and trade ties with China. He also called for closer cooperation on finance and interconnectivity.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of agreements in investment, high-end industries and infrastructural construction.

"Part of the consensus from the two leaders' meeting today is that Belgium will work to align the Investment Plan for Europe with China's Belt and Road initiatives. Both sides will encourage more investment from enterprises," Zhu Jing, dept. of European Affairs, China Foreign Ministry, said.

The Belgian Prime Minister's visit to Beijing coincides with the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. As Chinese Foreign Ministry officials said, it will be conducive to bilateral cooperation and important for the stable development of China-Belgium and China-EU relations.


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