Commission to deepen ties with Belarus

Updated: 2014-01-21 04:03

By ZHAO YINAN (China Daily)

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Five-year cooperative agreement to assist infrastructure and logistics

Commission to deepen ties with Belarus

Premier Li Keqiang (left) holds a welcoming ceremony for visiting Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich on Monday in Beijing. Wu Zhiyi / China Daily

An intergovernmental commission will be set up between China and Belarus, as the two vowed to enhance bilateral relations.

The commission is part of agreements reached between Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich on Monday — which also marked the 22nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

The countries reached a five-year cooperative agreement, providing a roadmap for 2014 to 2018.

They will set up an intergovernmental commission at the vice-premier level, which will be responsible for the planning of relations.

Li and Myasnikovich also agreed to carry forward cooperation in major projects, such as the Sino-Belarusian industrial park, which opened in the Eastern European country in 2013.

The industrial park, located in the center of the Eurasian continent and next to an international airport and railway hub, is offering tax rebates and other favorable policies for Chinese investment.

The two sides also agreed to cooperate in transportation infrastructure projects and improve logistics.

The utilization of laser, nanometer, biological and microelectronic technologies will be encouraged. Memorandums on aviation, electric locomotives, bonds and futures were signed, according to China's State Council.

At the beginning of Monday's meeting, Li extended sincere thanks to Myasnikovich for his contribution to the development of bilateral relations.

Myasnikovich was awarded the Friendship Award in 2011 for his contribution to Sino-Belarusian relations. The Friendship Award is the top award that the Chinese government presents to foreigners.

Myasnikovich, in turn, greeted the premier in Chinese, saying he hopes the visit will inject new incentives into Sino-Belarusian relations.

Belarus is willing to provide favorable conditions for Chinese investors, he said.

As an "old friend" of China, Li said, Belarus has made its relations with China a priority in its foreign policy. The Eastern European country enhanced its relationship with China with a comprehensive strategic partnership in July, when Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko visited China.

Feng Yujun, director of the Institute of Russian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said that as the two countries keep cooperative momentum in traditional fields such as aviation and electric locomotives, they are also exploring new areas in finance and logistics.

Belarus has advantages in science and technology, although the country is not large in terms of land area, Feng said.

"China used to benefit a lot from the advanced science and technology in Belarus, but now such exchanges have become two-way as our research ability has improved. But Belarus remains an important outsourcing country of scientific talent," he said.

Feng said Belarus is geographically a desirable partner, as China seeks deepened cooperation with Europe.