Xi eyes 'even better' China-Belgium relationship

Updated: 2015-06-24 00:05


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Xi eyes 'even better' China-Belgium relationship

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) holds a welcoming ceremony for King Philippe of Belgium before their talks, in Beijing, June 23, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with King Philippe of Belgium on Tuesday afternoon, looking forward to "even better" ties between the two nations.

"The China-Belgium relationship is at its height after years of smooth development," Xi said during the talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Xi told King Philippe that China values ties with Belgium and regards the country as an important partner in the European Union.

The king arrived in China Saturday night for a week-long state visit at Xi's invitation. It is the king's first state visit overseas since he was crowned in July 2013.

Xi said China stands ready to maintain close high-level interactions, retain the sound political trust and ensure the general direction of friendship between the two nations.

The president made a state visit to Belgium in the spring of 2014, when the two sides decided to upgrade their relations to an all-round partnership of friendship and cooperation.

On Tuesday, Xi suggested the two sides boost cooperation in high-end manufacturing, biomedicine, environmental technology and sustainable development.

The Chinese government supports capable Chinese companies investing in Belgium and also welcomes Belgian companies to explore the Chinese market, said the president.

Xi called for closer China-Belgium cooperation on finance and interconnectivity, hoping that Belgium will back Chinese enterprises' participation in the ambitious Investment Plan for Europe as well as the construction of main corridors in Europe.

He proposed the two governments strengthen policy coordination to facilitate people-to-people exchanges.

Briefing King Philippe on the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st - Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, Xi said China welcomes Belgium's participation and will support its accession to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

China and Europe should further advance their partnership, work together to safeguard the international system with the United Nations at the core, combine their development strategies, increase exchanges on structural reform, and step up dialogue.

King Philippe lauded the Belt and Road initiatives. He said as a reliable partner of China in Europe, Belgium will act as a bridge to link China and Europe.

Belgium will continue to boost cooperation with China, said the king.

Expressing his gratitude for China's support for European integration as well as the development of the Eurozone, King Philippe said Belgium will work to align the Investment Plan for Europe to China's Belt and Road initiatives.

President Xi and King Philippe also exchanged views on climate change and the situation in the Great Lakes region in Africa.

After their talks, President Xi and King Philippe witnessed the signing of bilateral agreements on cooperation in aerospace, customs, science and technology, nuclear fuel, education, as well as cooperation between local governments.

Prior to the talks, Xi held a red-carpet ceremony to welcome the visiting king.