China to strengthen ties with Central, Eastern Europe

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 6, 2012
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China will enhance cooperation with Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries as a secretariat was established in Beijing on Thursday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced a series of projects to push forward cooperation between China and countries in CEE when he attended a summit in Warsaw in April. The establishment of a secretariat for cooperation between the countries was included in the plan.

Song Tao, secretary-general of the secretariat as well as China's vice foreign minister, said at a coordinators' meeting of the countries held in Beijing on Thursday that China and CEE countries have steadily pushed forward pragmatic cooperation in economy, culture, education, tourism and other fields, and the secretariat will promote further cooperation.

Strengthening cooperation between China and CEE countries is conducive to realizing a more comprehensive and balanced China-Europe relationship, as well as overcoming the current difficulties in Europe, according to Song.

China and CEE countries proposed their next steps to push forward cooperation, respectively, and a series of inter-enterprise trade and economic cooperation agreements were signed on the sidelines of the meeting.

The Chinese side briefed the meeting on its views on how to put into practice the next phase of measures, which include the 10 billion USD special credit line, the investment cooperation fund with the goal of raising 500 million USD in the first stage, and sending Chinese trade and investment promotion missions to CEE countries. Other measures are the establishment of an expert advisory committee on the construction of transport networks between China and CEE countries, and the establishment of economic and technological zones through joint efforts of Chinese enterprises and CEE countries. Also announced was the implementation plan for the research fund on relations between China and CEE countries.

The Chinese side plans to organize a special tourist products promotion event for China and CEE countries during the China International Tourism Mart in November 2012. It also plans to hold a forum on cultural cooperation between China and CEE countries in the first half of 2013, as well as the first Young Political Leaders Forum of China and CEE countries and the first Education Policy Dialogue between China and CEE countries in the second half of 2013.

CEE countries that attended the meeting included Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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