Xi says Be­larus is a good part­ner

Two pres­i­dents sign dec­la­ra­tion to en­hance mu­tual trust and build strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily (USA) - - TOP NEWS - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and Be­larus signed 26 doc­u­ments on Thurs­day in Bei­jing to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas in­clud­ing in­vest­ment, trade, ed­u­ca­tion and science.

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Be­laru­sian Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Lukashenko at­tended the sign­ing cer­e­mony. The two lead­ers also signed a joint dec­la­ra­tion to en­hance mu­tual trust and es­tab­lish a win-win com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, Lukashenko awarded Xi the “Peace and Friend­ship” medal of Be­larus.

China has agreed that Be­larus will set up a gen­eral con­sulate in Guangzhou, cap­i­tal of Guang­dong province.

Call­ing Lukashenko “an old friend of the Chi­nese peo­ple”, Xi spoke highly of his ef­forts in im­prov­ing bi­lat­eral ties.

“We have ex­changed views many times on the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship and is­sues of joint concern,” Xi said, adding that the two sides have reached broad con­sen­sus.

Xi said that China con­sid­ers Be­larus a good friend and part­ner, and that the bi­lat­eral ties are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing their best pe­riod. The po­lit­i­cal mu­tual trust has been con­tin­u­ously en­hanced, and the two sides have main­tained fre­quent co­or­di­na­tion in re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues, he added.

Lukashenko said that Be­larus and China have jointly im­ple­mented the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt Ini­tia­tive. The ini­tia­tive, pro­posed by Pres­i­dent Xi in 2013, aims to con­nect Europe and Asia through re­viv­ing the an­cient Silk Road.

The China-Be­larus Great Stone In­dus­trial Park, which the two coun­tries are build­ing to­gether, is an im­por­tant part of the Silk Road Eco­nomic Belt, he said.

In a state­ment the two coun­tries is­sued in May last year, China and Be­larus said the park “is a strate­gic project in line with both coun­tries’ de­vel­op­men­tal in­ter­ests”.

The aim is for the 90-square-kilo­me­ter park, which is 25km­from the Be­laru­sian cap­i­tal of Minsk, to be­come not only a lo­gis­tics hub, but also an in­dus­trial and high-tech base, said Kiryl Rudy, Be­laru­sian am­bas­sador to China.

Li Huilai, China’s as­sis­tant for­eign minister, said that the two lead­ers have agreed to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas in­clud­ing trade, in­vest­ment, in­dus­try and fi­nance.

China and Be­larus have main­tained close high-level ex­changes in re­cent years. In Septem­ber last year, Lukashenko came to Bei­jing to at­tend a cer­e­mony to com­mem­o­rate the 70th an­niver­sary of the world’s victory against fas­cism. In May last year, dur­ing Xi’s state visit to Be­larus, the two coun­tries pledged to com­bine strate­gies of de­vel­op­ment.

Ma Junchi, a re­searcher of Euro­pean stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said that through at­tract­ing Chi­nese in­vest­ment, Be­larus hopes to im­prove its in­dus­trial struc­ture, which cur­rently re­lies heav­ily on en­ergy.

We have ex­changed views many times on the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship and is­sues of joint concern.” Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping

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