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Li holds meetings with world leaders

Updated: 2013-09-12 01:18
By ZHOU WA (China Daily)

Premier Li Keqiang discussed cooperation with a number of European leaders on the sidelines of the Summer Davos Forum on Wednesday in Dalian, Liaoning province, as he reaffirmed China's intention to strengthen ties with Europe.

"China is the biggest developing economy and the European Union is the biggest union of developed economies," Li said, when meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. "Cooperation between the two has great potential."

Li said he hopes China and Europe will develop their future ties strategically over the long term, facilitate trade and investment and oppose protectionism.

He praised the efforts Belgium has made for better cooperation with China, saying Brussels "has played a leading role within the EU" in that regard.

When meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, Li urged that the two countries discover more fields for cooperation and push China-Europe ties to a higher level.

In April, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto paid an official visit to China, where he clinched an agreement with President Xi Jinping to build a future-oriented cooperative partnership.

It is the common will and responsibility of China and Finland to implement the agreement, Li told Niinisto.

China would like to consolidate friendship with Finland and enhance bilateral cooperation in various sectors, including investment, innovation and environmental protection, the premier added.

During a meeting with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Li spoke of China's wish to develop a healthy relationship with countries in southern Europe.

Malta assisted China in evacuating Chinese citizens from Libya in 2011, when the North African country was gripped by domestic turmoil.

Li praised Malta's sincere support under the critical circumstances, saying the friendship between the two peoples is deeply rooted.

China would like to strengthen cooperation with Malta in a wide range of areas, including trade, investment, finance and energy, for more favorable and closer interaction between the countries, Li said.

Muscat also spoke highly of the Sino-Maltese friendship, saying his country will further improve cooperation with China in all fields.

Regarding problems between China and Europe, the Belgian prime minister said Belgium advocates that China and Europe thoroughly resolve trade frictions through friendly negotiation.

China is an important partner of Belgium, and Belgium would like to play the role of a gateway for Chinese enterprises to enter European markets, Di Rupo said.

The Finnish prime minister said his country also welcomes investment from Chinese companies, and he would like China and Europe to soon start negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement.

The Summer Davos, or the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions, was launched in 2007 by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The forum is a Geneva-based nonprofit organization best known for its annual meetings at Davos, Switzerland.

The Summer Davos works as an annual high-level meeting of the world's political, business and social leaders and a supplement to the one in Switzerland. China has hosted the event alternately in the port cities of Tianjin and Dalian.