China vows to increase support for refugees
Updated: 2015-10-15 07:08
By Li Xiaokun(China Daily)
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a welcoming ceremony for Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic before their talks in Beijing, Oct 14, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
Xi meets with Croatian leader and praises efforts in Europe to ease 'humanitarian crisis'
China has vowed to provide more assistance to refugees flooding into Europe from war-torn countries in the Middle East.
President Xi Jinping spoke of the human tragedy when meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday.
He said the Chinese government valued the efforts of European countries, including Croatia, on the front-line of the crisis by taking in refugees mainly from Syria and Iraq.
"China has paid close attention to the refugee issue in Europe and the Mediterranean and sympathizes with the refugees," Xi said, according to a news release issued after his meeting with Grabar-Kitarovic. "The Chinese government will further provide assistance to refugees in relevant countries to help ease the humanitarian crisis."
On bilateral ties, Xi said Croatia can be an important economic partner through China's Belt and Road Initiative, which involves closer trade links with Asian and European countries.
Xi urged the two governments to merge their development strategies to boost economic growth. He also said he expected Croatia to become actively involved in China's cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries.
Grabar-Kitarovic is on a state visit to China from Tuesday to Sunday. She is scheduled to attend a high-level forum on poverty reduction and development while she is here.
The talks between Xi and Grabar-Kitarovic came two weeks after Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Vesna Pusic in New York on the sidelines of celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
Croatia has consistently played "a constructive role" in the "16 plus 1 cooperation", a new group of China and the Central and Eastern European Countries, Wang said.
Economic cooperation "between China and the CEEC" will be the core of the '16 plus 1' group, Wang added.
Zhao Huaipu, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University, said Croatia can benefit from closer trade ties, as the majority of European Union member countries are struggling to post strong economic growth.
Yang Yixi contributed to this story.