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Xi says Belarus is a good partner

By An Baijie (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-30 07:29

Two presidents sign declaration to enhance mutual trust and build strategic cooperation

China and Belarus signed 26 documents on Thursday in Beijing to enhance cooperation in areas including investment, trade, education and science.

President Xi Jinping and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attended the signing ceremony. The two leaders also signed a joint declaration to enhance mutual trust and establish a win-win comprehensive strategic partnership.

During the meeting, Lukashenko awarded Xi the "Peace and Friendship" medal of Belarus.

China has agreed that Belarus will set up a general consulate in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

Calling Lukashenko "an old friend of the Chinese people", Xi spoke highly of his efforts in improving bilateral ties.

"We have exchanged views many times on the bilateral relationship and issues of joint concern," Xi said, adding that the two sides have reached broad consensus.

Xi said that China considers Belarus a good friend and partner, and that the bilateral ties are experiencing their best period. The political mutual trust has been continuously enhanced, and the two sides have maintained frequent coordination in regional and international issues, he added.

Lukashenko said that Belarus and China have jointly implemented the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative. The initiative, proposed by President Xi in 2013, aims to connect Europe and Asia through reviving the ancient Silk Road.

The China-Belarus Great Stone Industrial Park, which the two countries are building together, is an important part of the Silk Road Economic Belt, he said.

In a statement the two countries issued in May last year, China and Belarus said the park "is a strategic project in line with both countries' developmental interests".

The aim is for the 90-square-kilometer park, which is 25 km from the Belarusian capital of Minsk, to become not only a logistics hub, but also an industrial and high-tech base, said Kiryl Rudy, Belarusian ambassador to China.

Li Huilai, China's assistant foreign minister, said that the two leaders have agreed to enhance cooperation in areas including trade, investment, industry and finance.

China and Belarus have maintained close high-level exchanges in recent years. In September last year, Luka-shenko came to Beijing to attend a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the world's victory against fascism. In May last year, during Xi's state visit to Belarus, the two countries pledged to combine strategies of development.

Ma Junchi, a researcher of European studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that through attracting Chinese investment, Belarus hopes to improve its industrial structure, which currently relies heavily on energy.

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