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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of Croatia

On the morning of April 10, 2019 local time, Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of Croatia at Prime Minister's office in Zagreb.

Hailing the long-term friendship between China and Croatia, Li Keqiang said that the two countries have enjoyed healthy and sound development of bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Croatian side to strengthen mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation and carry on friendship on the basis of mutual respect, equity and mutual trust, so as to constantly explore new dimensions for bilateral relations, bring the hearts and minds of the two countries closer and push forward bilateral cooperation to a new level.

Li Keqiang pointed out that we are willing to strengthen the integration of the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of the Croatian side, expand the scale of two-way trade, boost the level of two-way investment, increase the import of Croatian specialty products that suit the demands of the Chinese market, support Chinese enterprises in participating in construction in Croatian including ports and railways in line with market principles and deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges including culture and tourism. Tomorrow I will inspect the Peljesac Bridge project with Mr. Prime Minister. The bridge, in which European Union (EU) standards and funds are used, is contracted by a Chinese company through bidding. It is a model of trilateral cooperation among China, Croatia and the EU, and realizes mutual benefit and multi-win results

Li Keqiang stressed that cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) (the 16+1 cooperation) has played an important role in strengthening China-CEEC relations and promoting the European integration process. The Chinese side appreciates the work the Croatian side has done to propel the 16+1 cooperation and stands ready to make concerted efforts with the Croatian side to well hold the 8th China-CEEC Summit.

Andrej Plenković welcomed Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Croatia and expressed that this is the first visit paid by a Chinese Premier since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 27 years ago. The Croatian side stands ready to strengthen the understanding of China's history and culture, share China's development opportunities, and support the building of the Belt and Road Initiative so as to benefit the two countries and peoples. Noting the high-level development of bilateral relations, Andrej Plenković said Croatia and China will ink a series of cooperation documents during the visit, which demonstrates the latest achievements of practical cooperation between the two sides. The Peljesac Bridge is highly rated by the Croatian people and China is Croatia's important partner on infrastructure construction. The Croatian side is willing to further enhance cooperation with the Chinese side in such areas as politics, economy, culture, tourism and port infrastructure to push for greater development of bilateral relations. The 16+1 cooperation has, since its inception, vigorously promoted the CEEC-China cooperation. I am looking forward to co-chairing the Summit with Mr. Premier to promote the meeting for positive results. Andrej Plenković also commented positively the outcomes of the 21st China-EU Leaders' Meeting and said that as an EU member, the Croatian side stands ready to play an active and constructive role in cementing the development of EU-China relations.

After the talks, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents in areas including economy, trade, investment, tourism, quality inspection and sports, and jointly met the press. The two sides also released a joint communique between the two governments.

On the morning of the same day, Andrej Plenković held a grand welcome ceremony at the St. Mark's Square for Li Keqiang. Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković went to the reviewing stand together. The military band played the national anthems of China and Croatia. Accompanied by Andrej Plenković, Li Keqiang inspected the guard of honor

Wang Yi and He Lifeng attended the above activities.

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