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Premier Li: China-CEEC cooperation in line with EU interests

By Hu Yongqi | | Updated: 2018-07-07 21:55
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As a vital part and helpful supplement of its relations with the European Union, China's cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries is in line with Europe's overall interests, Premier Li Keqiang said Saturday at the opening ceremony of the eighth China-CEEC Economic and Trade Forum in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The China-CEEC cooperation is also known as the "16+1" mechanism. Li said there is a misunderstanding that China is using the mechanism to split Europe as a geopolitical tool.

The mechanism is beneficial to promoting the development of China and the 16 CEE nations, shrinking disparity inside the European Union members for more balanced development, and it will push forward European integration, Premier Li explained.

China supports European integration and that stance will remain unchanged, he said. The EU is a vital force in safeguarding world peace and stability, as China's biggest trading partner, and a united, stable and prosperous EU and strong euro are in line with China's fundamental interests, he said.

Li stressed that the "16+1" cooperation has always adhered to international rules, including World Trade Organization rules and EU regulations. Chinese companies are required to abide by market rules and business principles to bid for projects in Europe on the transparent and open platform of the "16+1" mechanism, he said.

The mechanism injects new momentum into China-CEEC relations and brings new engines for the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and EU, Li added.

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