Chinese PresidentXi Jinping(2nd R) holds a welcoming ceremony for Austrian President Heinz Fischer before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 27, 2015. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fischer agreed to further advance bilateral relations for greater progress while meeting at the Great Hall of the People on Friday.
Xi welcomed Fischer as he visits China to attend the annual Boao Forum for Asia. He said he appreciated Fischer's contribution to the growth of bilateral links over the years.
Xi pointed out that since the two countries established diplomatic links more than four decades ago, bilateral cooperation in various areas has deepened and shown sound momentum. Now bilateral relations are at a new starting point, Xi said, expressing the readiness to work with Fischer to enhance friendship and cooperation so as to advance bilateral links for even greater growth.
Xi emphasized that China and Austria should be friends of mutual respect and trust. He said the two sides should respect and take care of each other's core interests and concerns. He said the two countries should strengthen communication and cooperation in the areas of politics, diplomacy and justice, reinforce the cornerstone of mutual trust in their political relations and enhance communication and coordination on major regional and international issues in the United Nations and other multilateral organizations.
Xi said China and Austria should be partners of practical cooperation. He said the two sides should tap into the potential of cooperation in the areas of advanced manufacturing, environmental and green technology, development of intelligent city and power grids, agriculture and finance. He said the two sides should foster new growth spots in bilateral cooperation and expand the scale of two-way investment.
Xi said the two countries should also step up cultural and people-to-people exchanges by jointly staging cultural events marking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic links, carrying out joint innovation and scientific research, conducting exchanges between their younger generations, encouraging and expanding contact between local governments and the people and promoting personnel exchanges and tourism.
Xi said China is ready to strengthen cooperation with nations along the "Belt and Road" economic corridors. He said since Europe is at the end of the Silk Road, China and Austria should actively explore the possibility of cooperation on concrete projects.
Xi expressed the wish that Austria should play an active role in pushing for the early signing of an investment agreement between China and EU and launching joint feasibility study of China-EU free trade zone.
Xi welcomed Austria to participate in the cooperation between China and central and eastern European countries.
Fischer said the "Belt and Road" initiatives that China unveiled has great attraction to Austria. Austria places great importance on the initiatives and is ready to take an active role, he said.
He said Austria also places importance on the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB). He said Austria expects the China-led development bank to provide assistance to the cooperation between China and central and eastern European countries.
Fischer expressed the wish to strengthen bilateral cooperation on finance, agriculture, energy, technology, culture, art and sports.
Fischer said the robust growth of China's economy has brought about prosperity and improved people's living standards in the country. He said Austria highly appreciates China's active participation in the United Nations and its leading role in global affairs. He expressed gladness on the major progress that the two sides have made on bilateral and EU-China relations.
The presidents also exchanged opinions on regional and international issues of common concern, including climate changes, the Iranian nuclear issue and the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula.
After the talks, the two heads of state witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation documents, involving such areas as trade, agriculture and quality inspection.