The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds a Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Li Keqiang's Attendance at the 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Official Visits to Tajikistan and the Netherlands, Attendance at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, and Official Working Visit to Belgium
2018/10/09

On October 9, 2018, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), official visits to Tajikistan and the Netherlands, attendance at the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, and official working visit to Belgium. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao, Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun and Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui introduced relevant situation, and answered questions from Chinese and foreign journalists.

I. On the Attendance at the 17th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO Member States

Zhang Hanhui expressed that Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Tajikistan for the Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO Member States is a major diplomatic move of China toward Eurasia, and is of great significance for implementing the outcomes of the SCO Qingdao Summit held this June, promoting SCO practical cooperation and deepening friendly relations with relevant countries.

During the meeting, Premier Li Keqiang will expound on Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, share the successful experience of China's reform and opening up, and advocate the joint opposition to unilateralism and protectionism, as well as the building of an open world economy and an even closer SCO community with a shared future. Premier Li Keqiang will also exchange in-depth views and reach new and important consensus with leaders of various countries present at the meeting mainly on deepening cooperation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and advancing cooperation in such fields as economy, trade, production capacity, connectivity and people-to-people and cultural engagement, so as to promote the SCO cooperation in various fields for in-depth and practical development, and benefit the people of all countries in the region. A joint communiqué will be signed and issued at the meeting. All relevant parties will speak in one voice on major international and regional issues, make clear the SCO's cooperation direction in the next step, and sign multiple documents concerning organization building and cooperation in relevant fields as well.

II. On the Visit to Tajikistan

Zhang Hanhui pointed out that Tajikistan is a comprehensive strategic partner of China and an important cooperation partner of China in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and in carrying out law enforcement and security cooperation. China-Tajikistan relations have achieved comprehensive, healthy and stable development at present. First, the two countries have enjoyed frequent high-level exchanges and constantly deepened political mutual trust. Second, practical cooperation between both countries has achieved fruitful results. Third, both countries have conducted close coordination in international and regional affairs. As Premier Li Keqiang's first visit to Tajikistan, this visit is of great significance for promoting the in-depth development of China-Tajikistan comprehensive strategic partnership and advancing the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between the two countries and production capacity cooperation. Premier Li Keqiang will exchange in-depth views with leaders of Tajikistan on the development of China-Tajikistan relations, cooperation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and major international and regional issues against the new circumstances. Both sides will sign multiple cooperation documents in such areas as economy, trade and customs and at local level.

III. On the Visits to the Netherlands and Belgium

Wang Chao pointed out that the visits are another important high-level exchange between China and the European Union (EU) within this year, which carries great significance to pushing China-Netherlands and China-Belgium relations for sustained and sound development as well as deepening China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership and practical cooperation. The Chinese side expects to, through these visits, strengthen strategic communication with the Netherlands and Belgium, further enhance mutual understanding and political mutual trust and elevate the level of practical cooperation, so as to inject fresh impetus into China-Netherlands relations, China-Belgium relations and China-EU cooperation.

The current China-Netherlands relations have enjoyed robust development momentum with a new wave being created in bilateral high-level exchanges, practical cooperation being constantly deepened, the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative being steadily advanced and more intensified people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Premier Li Keqiang will make in-depth exchanges of views with the leaders of the Dutch side on China-Netherlands relations, China-EU relations as well as international and regional issues of common concern. Both sides will sign a series of cooperation agreements covering such fields as customs, aviation, energy and finance.

As a founding member of the EU, Belgium is where the EU Headquarters stands, and also an important cooperation partner of China in the EU. Since the establishment of the all-round friendly cooperative partnership between China and Belgium in 2014, bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various areas have entered a new period of comprehensive and rapid development as political mutual trust between the two countries has been continuously deepened and practical cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges have been advanced in a more in-depth way. During the visit, both sides will make in-depth exchanges of views on China-Belgium relations, China-EU relations as well as international and regional issues of common concern, in a bid to push China-Belgium relations for robust development.

China and the EU, two important economies and two important strategic forces in the world, share extensive common interests and similar positions in such aspects as advocating free trade, safeguarding multilateralism and strengthening global governance. The reinforced cooperation between China and the EU as well as between China and the EU member states will add more positive factors to the world stability and development and inject more positive energy into the recovery of world economy as well.

IV. On the Attendance at the 12th ASEM Summit

Zhang Jun expressed that the ASEM is an important platform for cooperation between Asia and Europe, and a significant bond to deepen Asia-Europe partnership. Under the current international situation, all parties from Asia and Europe expect to take this meeting as an opportunity to enhance solidarity, deepen cooperation, and firmly safeguard multilateralism and international order on the foundation of international law and rules, so as to make contributions to world peace, development and stability. The theme of this ASEM Summit is "Europe and Asia: Global Partner for Global Challenges". Premier Li Keqiang will conduct in-depth exchanges with leaders of various countries, deliver an important speech at the Summit, elaborate on the important and immediate significance of strengthening Asia-Europe partnership and dealing with the common challenges under the new circumstances, put forward the initiative of China to support Asia-Europe practical cooperation, and express opinions on major international and regional hotspot issues.

The Chinese side is willing to work with all parties to jointly promote the ASEM Summit for complete success, inject fresh impetus into and make new contributions to Asia-Europe cooperation. The first is to uphold the principle of mutual respect, equal dialogue and consensus-building to deepen political mutual trust and partnership. The second is to pool consensus between Asia and Europe, jointly utter the firm voice to safeguard multilateralism, and deal with global challenges hand in hand. The third is to take the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity and the connectivity as the handle to deepen practical cooperation and share common development and prosperity. The fourth is to conduct in-depth discussion on the direction of Asia-Europe cooperation, follow-up actions, make long-term plans, and take concrete actions, in a bid to elevate overall cooperation and development in both Asia and Europe.

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