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Li's visit to Bulgaria, Germany to promote pragmatic cooperation

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay official visits to Bulgaria and Germany and attend the seventh leaders' meeting of China and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) in Sofia and hold the fifth round of intergovernmental consultations between China and Germany from July 5 to 10, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao said at a press briefing on Friday.

BULGARIA VISIT IMPORTANT FOR BILATERAL TIES

China hopes the Bulgaria tour can increase mutual political trust, consolidate the traditional friendship, seek greater synergy of development strategies, and expand bilateral cooperation, so as to lift bilateral relations to a new level, said Wang.

He said that Li will meet with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and hold talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during the visit.

The two sides will exchange views on bilateral cooperation in various fields and regional and international issues of common concern, while several cooperative documents between the two governments and business sectors will also be signed during the visit, Wang said.

Ren Hongbin, assistant minister of commerce, said China and Bulgaria are traditional friendly cooperative partners, and there has been fruitful cooperation in trade, investment, and agriculture in recent years under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as 16+1 cooperation.

During Li's visit to Bulgaria, the two sides will have in-depth communication in deepening pragmatic cooperation, Ren said.

TO PROMOTE 16+1 COOPERATION BETWEEN CHINA, CEE COUNTRIES

Wang said 16+1 cooperation is a cross-regional platform jointly built by China and the CEEC.

Adhering to the principles of balance, pragmatism, innovation, openness, and inclusiveness, 16+1 cooperation has seen fruitful results and plays an important role in promoting economic and social development in these countries, as well as promoting China-CEEC relations.

In the next stage, 16+1 cooperation will focus on improving mechanisms, deepening pragmatic cooperation, and enhancing people-to-people exchanges, Wang said.

He said that the meeting aims to deepen open and pragmatic cooperation and jointly promote prosperity and development, and China hopes it will enhance understanding and trust, safeguard multilateralism and facilitation in trade and investment, and discuss the direction and future work for 16+1 cooperation.

Apart from the 16+1 leaders' meeting, Li will also attend the opening ceremony of the Eighth China-CEEC economic and trade forum, witness the signing of project agreements between China and the CEEC, and jointly meet the press, Wang said.

Economic and trade cooperation is an important part of China-CEEC cooperation, he said, noting that there has been steady development in transportation, agriculture, and tourism.

TO INCREASE CHINA-GERMANY FRUITFUL COOPERATION

Germany is an important trade, investment and technology partner of China in Europe, Wang said.

Since the establishment of the all-dimensional strategic partnership in 2014, relations of the two countries have maintained the momentum of high-level development, with frequent high-level visits and fruitful results in economy and trade, investment, technology, innovation, and people-to-people exchanges, Wang said.

Li will meet German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Wang said.

He will hold talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and they will co-chair the intergovernmental consultations, Wang said.

The leaders of two countries will exchange views on promoting pragmatic and innovative cooperation, giving play to the positive and leading role of China-Germany cooperation in China-Europe relations, safeguarding the free trade system and multilateralism and strengthening communication and coordination on major international and regional hot issues, Wang said.

Li and Merkel will attend the forum on China-Germany economic and technological cooperation and witness the signing of a series of documents, Wang said.

Bilateral economic and trade cooperation is beneficial to both sides and has huge potential, Ren said.

Increasing win-win cooperation between China and Germany is a signal that shows both countries safeguard multilateral trade system and support free trade, Ren said.

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