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Friday, June 17, 2016, 21:57

China encourages local cooperation with CEE

By Xinhua

BEIJING/TANGSHAN - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday the Chinese government encourages the provinces and cities of China and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries to synergize each other's advantage and participate in the 16+1 cooperation in areas including production capacity, trade and intercommunication.

Li made the remarks in a letter congratulating a meeting in Tangshan of Hebei Province, where delegates from more than 15 Chinese provinces and 50 states of CEE countries gathered to discuss cooperation at local level.

China supports the localities playing a bigger role in the further opening up of China, Li said, adding that he hopes discussion at the meeting will inject new vitality to the 16+1 cooperation.

Leaders from the CEE countries, including Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Montenegro's Deputy Prime Minister Petar Ivanovic, echoed Li saying the 16+1 cooperation and the meeting of local leaders served as important platforms to promote the bilateral political mutual trust, corporate cooperation and regional exchanges.

They also voiced willingness to continue to join in the 16+1 cooperation in areas including localities, energy, infrastructure, technology innovation, youth, higher education and tourism.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the meeting, Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai called on China and CEE countries to advance their practical cooperation to a higher level.

"China attaches great importance to the China-Europe comprehensive strategic partnership and is committed to promoting China-CEE cooperation," Ma said.

As the Chinese economy continues to grow at medium to high speed,China-CEE cooperation, or the "16+1" mechanism, will enjoy a more promising prospect, Ma said.

He called on both sides to synergize the development strategies to advance their practical cooperation and link the "16+1" mechanism with the Belt and Road Initiative.

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