PRAGUE, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Liu Yunshan paid an official goodwill visit to the Czech Republic from July 16 to 19, with both sides pledging to further explore cooperation opportunities within the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative and the "16+1 mechanism."
While meeting with Czech President Milos Zeman, Liu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Zeman have reached a lot of strategic consensus on bilateral ties, thus giving the direction for the development of bilateral relations.
Since Xi's visit in 2016, China and the Czech Republic have established a strategic partnership, with mutual political trust increasingly growing stronger, and cooperation booming in various fields.
Liu praised the Czech Republic's active role in participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, and hopes that the two sides can further enrich the strategic partnership, and jointly explore cooperation potentials in the fields of trade, technology, culture, education, tourism and Chinese medicine.
Zeman, for his part, said that the Belt and Road Initiative is a grand proposition that would connect and benefit the countries along the routes.
He said the Czech side attaches great importance to developing bilateral relations with China, and is willing to become China's close partner as well as the gate for China's cooperation with Europe.
While meeting with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Liu said the two countries enjoy a deep-rooted traditional friendship and delightful bilateral cooperation.
He urged the two sides to seize the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative and the "China-CEE 16+1 mechanism" to deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation and reap more achievements.
The China-CEE 16+1 mechanism is a platform created in April 2012 by China and 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries.
Sobotka, for his part, said his government would provide firm support for pragmatic cooperation with China within the the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative in order to benefit the two peoples.
During the meeting with Jan Hamacek, speaker of the lower house of the Czech parliament and deputy chairman of the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), Liu said the CPC highly values the relationship with the CSSD and hopes to maintain high-level contacts, enhance exchanges on state governance and party building and promote contacts in different aspects.
Hamacek said President Xi's visit to the Czech Republic last year had opened a new chapter for relations between the two countries.
Prague supports the Belt and Road's construction and is willing to promote bilateral cooperation with Beijing to achieve more results, Hamacek added.
Addressing the 2017 China Investment Forum held in Prague on Tuesday, Liu said the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi is becoming a reality.
The initiative has become an important cooperation platform for the international community, he added.
Within the framework of the Belt and Road construction, the China-CEE 16+1 mechanism has seen deepened policy connectivity, enhanced infrastructure connectivity, increased trade connectivity, expanded financial connectivity and strengthened people-to-people connectivity, which has achieved rich fruits, Liu said.
In May, China successfully held the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which gave a strong boost to deepening and expanding the cooperation under the 16+1 cooperation mechanism, Liu said.
He called on all sides to seize the opportunity to integrate their development strategies, strengthen pragmatic cooperation, push forward major projects and deepen people-to-people exchanges in order to open a new chapter for the development of the 16+1 cooperation mechanism.
Addressing the 2017 China Investment Forum, Sobotka said Prague firmly believes that the Belt and Road's construction will achieve a huge success and hopes to get on board as quickly as possible to share the achievements.
Meanwhile, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov, who also participated in the forum, said the Belt and Road Initiative reflects the notion that the world shares China's program.
Bulgaria welcomes more Belt and Road projects that can be implemented in the country, Simeonov added.