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Xi arrives in Poland for state visit

By AN BAIJIE in Warsaw (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-20 02:30

Xi arrives in Poland for state visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan wave as they arrive at the airport in Warsaw, Poland, June 19, 2016. Xi Jinping arrived in Warsaw Sunday for a state visit to Poland. [Photo/Xinhua] 

President Xi Jinping arrives in Warsaw, Poland, on Sunday afternoon for a state visit that is expected to boost China's ties with Europe.

During the visit, Xi will hold talks with Polish President Andrzej Duda and the two sides will sign a number of agreements on business, trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges.

China and Europe should closely match each other's development strategies and deepen joint interests, Xi wrote in an article published in the major Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita on Friday.

"Both China and Europe are currently pushing forward structural reform," Xi wrote in the article.

"As two major powers, major markets and major civilizations of the world, China and Europe can closely match each other's development strategies, deepen joint interests, promote joint growth and contribute to world peace and development," he wrote.

Wang Yiwei, a professor at the school of international studies at Renmin University of China, said Xi's visit will further develop China-proposed Belt and Road projects.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Xi in 2013, is aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. Considering their geographic importance, Central and Eastern Europe are key parts of the Belt and Road Initiative, as a quarter of the countries along the routes are in that region.

"Countries in Central and Eastern Europe including Poland are keen to develop ties with China to attract more Chinese investment," Wang said.

Poland is China's largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe, while China is Poland's third-largest supplier of imports. Trade between the two countries reached $17.2 billion in 2014.

Xi's state visit to the Czech Republic in March has produced fruitful results, prompting many other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland, to develop closer ties with China, Wang said.

The Central and Eastern Europe region now faces the challenge of upgrading its transportation, electricity and other infrastructure, as well as industrial equipment, while China is strong in construction capacity and support services and can meet the environmental standards of the region, said Chen Xin, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Last November, Polish President Andrzej Duda paid a state visit to China, during which Xi announced that China would explore a new logistics corridor to reach Central and Eastern Europe through Poland.

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