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China, Belgium vow to deepen cooperation

Updated: Oct 18,2018 5:39 AM

“This is my third visit to Belgium as the Chinese premier and we have reached consensus on many areas of cooperation and witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral cooperation agreements during this visit,” Premier Li Keqiang said during a joint news conference with his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel on Oct 17.

Premier Li noted that China will expand the import of high-quality Belgian products, especially agricultural products.

“The ban on Belgian beef exports to China has been lifted,” he said, adding that China will further ease market access restrictions on Belgian companies.

Premier Li said that the two sides discussed cooperation in innovation and high-technology and signed a framework agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

China will continue to develop clean energy, to which nuclear energy is an important pillar, he added, stressing that Beijing will strictly protect intellectual property rights in its high-tech cooperation with Brussels.

“I will exchange views with European leaders on reaching a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between China and the EU during the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Brussels later this week,” Premier Li said.

It will be a substantial contribution to multilateralism and free trade if China and Europe reach a BIT at an early date, he noted.

China attaches great importance to its relations with Belgium and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with the country within the UN framework, he added.

He said that China-Belgium cooperation plays an important role in China-EU cooperation and international cooperation, as Belgium has a reputation as the capital of Europe.

The Premier is paying a working visit to Belgium, where he will also attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit.

This is the third stop of Li’s Eurasian trip from Oct 11 to 19 after his visits to Tajikistan and the Netherlands.