On the afternoon of October 31, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium who was on an official visit to China.

Li Keqiang expressed that China-Belgium relations keep a good development momentum with frequent high-level exchanges, continuously enhanced political mutual trust, and increasingly higher-level of practical cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Taking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as a new starting point, China is willing to, together with Belgium, trust and treat each other equally, deepen practical cooperation, and enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges, so as to inject new vitality into the development of bilateral relations.

Li Keqiang pointed out that Belgium has always been standing at the forefront of European countries in conducting practical cooperation with China. China is willing to, together with Belgium, further align development strategies, explore new growth points for cooperation, strengthen cooperation in such areas as technology and innovation, and advanced manufacturing industry, and enhance talent training in related areas. China also stands ready to strengthen cooperation with Belgium in security, and elevate practical cooperation to new heights. It is hoped that Belgium could ease restrictions on export of high-tech products to China, so as to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results between China and Belgium.

Li Keqiang stressed that Belgium is an important member of the EU, as well as an important cooperative partner of China in the EU. China always gives support to the European integration process, hoping to see a united, stable and prosperous EU. China is willing to, based on the reached consensus and agreements, conduct cooperation in multiple forms and various areas with the EU. It is hoped that Belgium can, by giving play to its important role in the EU, promote the EU to fulfill its obligation as stipulated in Article 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in due courses, terminate the surrogate country methodology, accelerate the negotiation process of the investment treaty between China and the EU as well as the feasibility study on the China-EU free trade area, and send out a signal of joint fight against trade protectionism, so as to push forward the healthy and steady development of bilateral economic and trade relations.

Charles Michel stated that high-level exchanges between Belgium and China are frequent and bilateral relations enjoy sound development. Belgium is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in all areas such as politics, economy and culture, so as to constantly inject new vitality into the development of Belgium-China relations. Belgium insists on free trade and is committed to expanding bilateral trade and investment cooperation in agriculture, animal husbandry, information and communications, finance and insurance and other fields, hoping to become a gateway for Chinese enterprises to invest in Europe. Belgium stands ready to deal with issues related to the EU’s fulfillment of WTO obligations in a positive and pragmatic manner, and advance the negotiation on EU-China investment agreement, creating sound conditions for the development of EU-China economic and trade relations.

Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional topics of common interests.

Before the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcome ceremony for Charles Michel at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Wang Qinmin and others attended the ceremony.

After the talks, Li Keqiang and Charles Michel jointly witnessed the signing of documents for bilateral cooperation in judiciary, infrastructure, high-technology and other areas.

In that afternoon, Charles Michel went to Tian’anmen Square and laid a wreath at the Monument to the People’s Heroes.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

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