His­toric visit up­grades ties with Aus­tria

Pres­i­dent sees strength­ened re­la­tions as a ben­e­fit for both, and EU part­ners

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Front Page - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The top lead­ers of China and Aus­tria agreed on Sun­day to up­grade bi­lat­eral ties to a friendly strate­gic part­ner­ship as the Euro­pean coun­try sends an un­prece­dented of­fi­cial del­e­ga­tion to China.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping noted in his talk with Aus­trian Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Van der Bellen that the del­e­ga­tion in­cludes Van der Bellen, Chan­cel­lor Se­bas­tian Kurz and fed­eral min­is­ters.

Their visit marks the first of its kind in the his­tory of bi­lat­eral ex­changes and fully shows the pres­i­dent and his gov­ern­ment value de­vel­op­ing ties with China, Xi said.

On Mon­day, the vis­it­ing pres­i­dent will place a wreath at the Mon­u­ment of the Peo­ple’s He­roes in Bei­jing, a move Xi said shows his great re­spect and friend­ship for the Chi­nese peo­ple.

Van der Bellen is pay­ing his first state visit to China and also will at­tend the 2018 Boao Fo­rum for Asia an­nual con­fer­ence.

He told Xi that his coun­try speaks highly of China’s pos­i­tive role in global af­fairs, such as tack­ling cli­mate change, and Aus­tria will fur­ther its co­op­er­a­tion with China in ar­eas in­clud­ing trade, in­vest­ment and clean en­ergy.

Af­ter as­sum­ing of­fice in De­cem­ber, the new Aus­trian cab­i­net has been work­ing on de­vel­op­ing re­la­tions with China and co­op­er­at­ing with the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Xi has ex­pressed China’s en­dorse­ment of these ef­forts.

He has called for ef­forts to strengthen po­lit­i­cal guid­ance and top-level de­sign over the ties, main­tain the mo­men­tum of high-level ex­changes and im­prove co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of ju­di­ciary, se­cu­rity, law-en­force­ment and an­ticor­rup­tion.

Kurz, the chan­cel­lor, also at­tended the bi­lat­eral talks and said the vis­it­ing del­e­ga­tion, with such a high-rank­ing con­tin­gent, shows the en­thu­si­asm of all walks of life in Aus­tria in de­vel­op­ing ties with China.

Xi said China ap­pre­ci­ates Aus­tria’s open at­ti­tude to Chi­nese in­vest­ment and will con­tinue to boost its mar­ket open­ing and wel­come more Aus­trian en­ter­prises to in­vest in China.

Also, China wel­comes the Aus­trian side to take part in the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Cen­tral and Eastern Euro­pean coun­tries, and is ready to boost the syn­ergy of de­vel­op­ment strate­gies with Aus­tria, Xi added.

This year marks the 15th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of the China-Euro­pean Union com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship.

Van der Bellen noted that his coun­try will take pres­i­dency of the Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union this July and play a great role in boost­ing China-EU co­op­er­a­tion.

Xi said the Euro­pean Union main­tain­ing united, sta­ble, open and pros­per­ous ties are in line with China’s in­ter­ests, and China will not change its con­sis­tent po­si­tion of sup­port­ing Europe’s in­te­gra­tion.

Af­ter their talks, the two top lead­ers wit­nessed the sign­ing of doc­u­ments cov­er­ing ar­eas such as the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion, in­no­va­tion, lo­gis­tics, trans­porta­tion, cul­ture, sports and in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty.

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