China, Belgium to strengthen cooperation

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) holds talks with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels, Belgium, Oct. 17, 2018. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

China is ready to work with Belgium to strength cooperation and exchanges at all levels, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

Li made the remarks in Brussels when holding talks with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel during a working visit to the country.

Noting that China-Belgium ties have maintained the momentum of sound development, Li said Belgian companies are welcomed to invest in China, which will give equal treatment to all foreign enterprises as domestic enterprises.

Li said China is willing to import more high-quality Belgian agricultural products that suit the demands of Chinese market and hopes that Belgium can further facilitate bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Li said the two countries can boost cooperation in technology and innovation and expand nuclear cooperation on the basis of abiding by international laws and meeting international obligations.

The two countries can deepen practical cooperation in infrastructure development and the digital economy while actively exploring the third-party market cooperation, he added.

The Chinese premier said China and Europe, both as major economies, should work together and take steps to push for progress in the negotiations of a China-EU investment treaty so as to send a positive message of upholding free trade, economic globalization, and the multilateral trading regime.

Michel said Belgium is willing to align the connectivity program of the European Union with China's Belt and Road Initiative and support Belgian enterprises in investing in China.

Furthermore, Belgium is ready to strengthen bilateral cooperation in trade, agriculture, technology, nuclear, aviation and other fields while enhancing the third-party market cooperation in Africa and Asia, Michel said.

Belgium supports effective multilateralism and free trade and stands ready to work with China to strengthen coordination and communication in the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, Michel said.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents on nuclear, the third-party market, culture, logistics, aviation, among others.

China, Belgium agree to unleash complementary advantages, tap more cooperation potentials

After holding talks the two heads of government briefed results of their talks at the press conference.

"The two sides agreed to maintain high-level exchanges, timely communicate on various issues and keep consolidating political mutual trust," Li said.

He suggested the two sides further expand two-way opening-up, upgrade the level of bilateral trade and investment, deepen cooperation in nuclear energy, aviation and aerospace, and enhance innovation cooperation.

On relations with Europe, the Chinese premier stressed that China and Belgium will work together toward a healthy and stable development of China-Europe relations.

He added that the two countries will jointly forge ahead connectivity between Asia and Europe and facilitate the process of a China-Europe bilateral investment treaty (BIT) negotiation.

In order to contribute to world peace, stability and development, China and Belgium will enhance communication and coordination under multilateral frameworks such as the United Nations, safeguard multilateralism and rules-based international order, maintain free trading system and open world economy, Li said.

For his part, Michel suggested the two countries tap potentials in economy and trade, investment, agriculture, energy, aviation, infrastructure and connectivity cooperation.

He called on Belgium and China to make joint efforts to facilitate development of Europe-China relations, reach an agreement on the BIT at an early date and take steps to promote mutual benefit between enterprises from the two countries.

Noting the consensus on safeguarding multilateralism and the rules-based global governance, the Belgian prime minister encouraged the two countries to jointly maintain world security, stability, and development.

Editor: 曹家宁