China / Government

Xi praises Spain's role in Eurasian railway

By ZHAO SHENGNAN ( Updated: 2014-09-26 21:40

Xi praises Spain's role in Eurasian railway

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Beijing, capital of China, Sept 26, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

China welcomes Spain's participation in the construction and operation of a transcontinental railway, President Xi Jinping told visiting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday.

The development of a freight rail line between China and Europe continues its momentum, said Xi, and will provide a good way for China and Spain to upgrade trade and economic cooperation.

The Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe Railway started from Yiwu, Zhejiang province, with a planned destination of Madrid, the capital and largest city of Spain, Xi said.

In January, a freight train linking Yiwu and five central Asian countries, via the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, began operation amid hopes that it will increase development of the proposed Silk Road economic belt spanning Eurasia.

Yiwu, located 300 km south of China's economic hub Shanghai, is considered a bellwether for China's low-cost exports. The European Union is China's biggest economic partner.

Calling Spain a good friend and important partner in the EU, Xi said China would like to work with Spain to improve the China-EU relationship.

Next year will mark the 10th anniversary of the China-Spain comprehensive strategic partnership. Two-way trade between the countries reached $24 billion in 2013.

Rajoy highlighted the opportunities for developing the bilateral relationship, saying that, during the visit, he would like to promote both sides’ cooperation in fields including trade, investment, energy, railways, telecommunications and finance.

Spain also hopes to increase exports of agricultural products to China, said Rajoy, who is scheduled to conclude his four-day visit on Saturday.

On Thursday, Rajoy and Premier Li Keqiang oversaw the signing of 14 documents covering cooperation in such areas as alfalfa export, nuclear power, telecommunications, finance, wind-generated electricity, seawater desalination and tourism.

These cooperation deals and business contracts are worth more than $4 billion, Xinhua reported.

Spain is one of the few economic bright spots in the Eurozone this year. It grew at its fastest pace in six years in the second quarter, accelerating a recovery from an on-and-off recession that began in 2008, according to Reuters.

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