China vows to cement all-round strategic partnership with Belarus

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-19 23:40:53|Editor: MJ
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Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC), meets with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, April 18, 2017. Zhang paid an official goodwill visit to Belarus on April 16-18. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

MINSK, April 19 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang pledged to cement the all-round strategic partnership with Belarus during his three-day official goodwill visit to the country on April 16-18.

During his meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Zhang said the decision of Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Lukashenko in 2016 to forge a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual trust and win-win cooperation was an all-round blueprint and had upgraded bilateral ties.

"My current trip aimed to implement the consensus of the two state leaders, and facilitate rapid growth of ties at a high level," said Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress (NPC).

China hopes to make the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties this year a new starting point to strengthen political trust and strategic coordination, develop an all-weather friendship, expand all-round cooperation and build a community of shared interests and future, he said.

The two countries firmly support each other on issues regarding respective core interests and major concerns, which serves as a solid foundation for their bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, Zhang said.

"China will continue to support Belarus' independent domestic and foreign policy as well as its choice of a development path that suits its national conditions," he added.

Lukashenko, for his part, said Belarus will always be China's close friend and partner, vowing to boost friendly exchanges and political trust with China and enhance cooperation in such areas as investment, finance and tourism.

When meeting with Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov, Zhang said China considers Belarus as an important partner in the Belt and Road Initiative, urging the two sides to step up cooperation under the initiative, identify priority sectors for combining their development strategies, make full use of bilateral cooperation mechanisms, and draw plans for key areas and priorities of cooperation.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is a massive economic and trade project for common development and prosperity in countries along its routes in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Zhang praised the progress of the China-Belarus Industrial Park, calling on both sides to facilitate pragmatic cooperation in various areas.

Kobyakov said it is a common aspiration of both sides to deepen win-win cooperation, adding Belarus attaches great importance to the building of the industrial park, and hopes to expand investment and trade of high-tech and high value-added products, and offer a sound environment for the implementation of bilateral cooperation projects.

Zhang also held talks with Chairman Mikhail Myasnikovich of the Belarusian Council of the Republic (the upper house of the National Assembly of Belarus), and Chairman Vladimir Andreichenko of the House of Representatives (the lower house of the National Assembly of Belarus).

Calling the two countries' legislative bodies firm supporters and builders of the China-Belarus friendship, Zhang hoped both sides would maintain a sound momentum for cooperation, share governance experience, improve the legal environment for win-win cooperation, and boost cooperation in such areas as education and culture.

Echoing Zhang's proposals, Myasnikovich and Andreichenko said Belarus hopes to learn from China's experience, and facilitate substantial cooperation and exchanges between legislative bodies.

Zhang and the two chairmen signed a joint statement concerning cooperation between the NPC and the National Assembly of Belarus.

They visited the China-Belarus Indrustrial Park, which was named Great Stone. Zhang said it was important to improve the investment environment and management, as well as speed up investment attraction, encouraging companies from both sides to make the park a highlight of bilateral cooperation.

Zhang also visited the Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War, and laid a wreath at the Victory Monument in Minsk.

Zhang arrived in Belarus after visiting Latvia and Lithuania. He will fly to Moscow to continue his four-nation trip.

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KEY WORDS: Belarus