|Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium, Making the Decision to Establish China-Belgium All-Round Friendly Cooperative Partnership|
On March 31, 2014, President Xi Jinping held talks with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium in Brussels. The state leaders of the two countries exchanged views on the development of China-Belgium relations under the new situation and other topics of common interest. They reached broad consensus. Both sides made the decision to upgrade the bilateral relations to an all-round friendly cooperative partnership.
Xi Jinping said, China and Belgium have enjoyed a smooth development of bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic relationship 43 years ago. The two sides respect and trust each other on issues concerning their core interests, providing a strong political guarantee for the two countries to deepen practical cooperation.
Xi Jinping stressed, China attaches great importance to China-Belgium relations and stands ready to establish an all-round friendly cooperative partnership with Belgium on the basis of the current sound relations, to accelerate the bilateral cooperation in various fields. First, to maintain long-term friendship politically. Both sides should view the bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective. It counts not only economically, but also politically. Second, to jointly push forward the parallel advancement of "troika" of economic, scien-tech, and people-to-people and cultural cooperation. To expand investment to each other, to promote cooperation between medium- and small-sized enterprises, to strengthen cooperation in scien-tech innovation, biological pharmacy, modern agriculture, maritime, polar and other fields, to encourage the enterprises, colleges, universities and scientific research institutions to enhance cooperation, to expand the scale of exchanges of overseas students, and to facilitate personnel exchanges. China will establish Chinese cultural center in Brussels. Third, hope that Belgium will continue to play its role of a promoter for China-Europe cooperation with its unique status of the "heart of Europe", and will positively promote the development of China-Europe relations.
Di Rupo expressed that Belgium highly appreciates China's achievements in state-building and its important role in the international community. Belgium has the strong urge to develop the bilateral relations. President Xi Jinping's visit has brought about a broader prospect for Belgium-China cooperation. The Belgian side is willing to take the visit as a new starting point, to build up the bilateral all-round friendly cooperative partnership by simultaneously promoting cooperation in economic, scien-tech, people-to-people, cultural and other fields. The Belgian side is willing to provide favorable investment conditions for Chinese companies, to be China's good friend in the EU and to actively promote EU-China relations. Belgium hopes to maintain close communication and coordination with the Chinese side on the international affairs and to jointly safeguard world peace and stability.
Following the meeting, Xi Jinping and Di Rupo together witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral cooperative documents, covering fields of economy, trade, scien-tech, telecommunication, education and justice.
Both sides issued the Joint Declaration on Deepening All-Round Friendly Cooperative Partnership between the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Belgium.
In the evening, King Philippe of Belgium held a grand state banquet at the Royal Palace of Laeken to welcome Xi Jinping's visit. The Palace was brightly lit and decorated with blooming flowers. Upon their arrival, President Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan were warmly received by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde. The two heads of state and their wives walked into the banquet hall side by side. The national anthems of both China and Belgium were played.
The heads of state made warm speeches respectively. Xi Jinping said, during this visit, we have received gracious hospitality and considerate arrangements from King Philippe and the Belgian side. We deeply felt the friendship of the Belgian people towards the Chinese people. China attaches importance to the relationship with Belgium. I have reached important consensus with King Philippe and Prime Minister Di Rupo on comprehensively upgrading China-Belgium relations. Under the new circumstances, China and Belgium should grasp the valuable opportunities, following the spirits of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win results, to continually promote the bilateral friendly and cooperative relations for the in-depth development and score more outcomes, so as to benefit the two countries and the two peoples and make positive contributions to the development of China-Europe relations.
King Philippe said that Belgium and China have enjoyed a time-honored friendship, and that the bilateral exchanges and cooperation have been increasingly enhanced. Europe and China are both facing various challenges in their development. In the era of globalization, Europe and China should strengthen cooperation, jointly address the challenges and make progress. He believed that President Xi Jinping's visit to Belgium and Europe will deepen friendship, enhance mutual understanding and boost cooperation.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others were present.