Latvia beomes first to link with Belt and Road Initiative in Baltic Sea area

Latvia becomes the first country in the Baltic Sea area on Friday to sign a memorandum of understanding to link up with China's Belt and Road Initiative, during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the country. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Latvia became the first country in the Baltic Sea area on Friday to sign a memorandum of understanding to link up with China's Belt and Road Initiative, during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the country.

The initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to boost connectivity and trade across Asia, Africa and Europe. It was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

The memorandum was signed after Li's meeting with his Latvian counterpart Maris Kucinskis in the country's capital, Riga, on his first visit to the European Union country.

Li and Kucinskis also witnessed the signing of five agreements on cooperation in such areas as small and medium-sized enterprises, transportation and logistics.

Latvia becomes the first country in the Baltic Sea area on Friday to sign a memorandum of understanding to link up with China's Belt and Road Initiative, during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to the country. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of China-Latvia diplomatic relations. I am looking forward to working with Latvia's leaders to bring bilateral ties to a new stage," Li said upon arrival in Riga.

Baltic Sea countries, including Latvia, hope to join the Belt and Road Initiative because the region is an important logistics hub, said Wang Yiwei, an expert of European Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing.

Su Xiaohui, a researcher of international strategies at the China Institute of International Studies, said Li's visit will help the Baltic country better understand China.

Premier Li is also scheduled to attend the 5th Meeting of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European countries, which starts on Saturday in Riga.

By HU YONGQI WANG QING YUN

 

Editor: Song Lifang
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