On October 31, 2016, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium at the Great Hall of the People.

Xi Jinping pointed out that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Belgium, and the development of bilateral relations is facing new historical opportunities. Both sides should summarize the past and blaze new trails, so as to make unremitting efforts for the development of China-Belgium all-round friendly cooperation featuring vitality and persistence.

Xi Jinping stressed that China and Belgium should properly handle issues regarding each other’s core interests and major concerns on the basis of sincerity and friendship. China highly appreciates that the Belgian government adheres to the One-China policy. Both sides should base themselves on exploration and innovation. The economic and trade cooperation between both countries boasts profound foundation and great potential. Both sides could actively explore new cooperation in high-end technology and industries with high added value, and strengthen joint innovation, research and development by combining respective advantages and focusing on advanced manufacturing, new energy, eco-environment protection, modern service industry and other areas. It is hoped that Belgium can seize the opportunities brought by the “Belt and Road” construction to promote the development of China-Europe and Asia-Europe logistics industries and cooperation in cross-border e-commerce. China appreciates and welcomes Belgium’s willingness to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and hopes that Belgium can become an AIIB member state as soon as possible. China welcomes Belgium’s active participation in the construction of the Euro-Asia Multimodel Transport Connectivity, the pan-European railway network and others. Both sides should also base themselves on opening up and win-win results. China and Belgium are committed to maintaining a fair and open international trade system. China has always valued the EU from a strategic height, firmly supports the European integration process and deepens its strategic partnership with the EU. It is hoped that Belgium would urge the EU to fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in due time, and continue to play an active role in the development of China-EU relations.

Charles Michel said that he is glad to visit China on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. The state visit of President Xi Jinping to Belgium in 2014 and the return visit of Belgian King Philippe to China last year have greatly promoted the development of bilateral relations. Belgium is glad to see the active trade and cultural exchanges between Belgium and China, and is willing to expand cooperation with China in judiciary, investment, innovation, aviation, new energy, digital economy and infrastructure and under the “Belt and Road” framework. Firmly holding that developing a positive relationship with China conforms to the EU’s own interests, Belgium is committed to promoting the establishment of an EU-China relationship featuring high-level mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation.

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

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