Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis in Sofia, Bulgaria, July 7, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Tao)
SOFIA, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with his Latvian counterpart Maris Kucinskis here on Saturday, with both sides pledging to enhance cooperation in scientific and technological innovation.
China highly values relations with Latvia and is willing to keep high-level contacts and exchanges at various levels, Li said at their meeting held in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
The Chinese premier arrived in Bulgaria on Thursday for an official visit to the European country, and attended the seventh leaders' meeting of China and 16 Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) on Saturday.
China is willing to strengthen pragmatic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with Latvia so as to better benefit the two peoples, Li said.
The Chinese premier said Beijing is willing to work with Latvia to tap their respective advantages to enhance cooperation in areas including scientific and technological innovation, expand exchanges of language teaching and culture, promote the two countries to exchange students and push forward cooperation between scientific institutions.
China is glad to see Latvia to play as an important logistic hub in the Baltic region and is ready to work with it to develop economic and trade ties as well as interconnectivity, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, said Li.
People-to-people exchanges between the two countries are developing fast, Li said, adding that China supports civil aviation sectors of the two countries to keep contacts on opening direct flights.
For his part, Kucinskis said Latvia is China's reliable friend and is willing to work with China to continue enhancing cooperation in scientific and technological innovation as well as in research and development.
China-Europe freight train services have achieved a great success, Kucinskis said, adding that Latvia is willing to make full use of the freight trains to tap its regional and ice-free harbor advantages to promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
More and more Chinese tourists are travelling to the CEEC, which suggests that bilateral cooperation in tourism is progressing and China-CEEC relations are continuously developing, he said.
Kucinskis also said he hopes that personnel exchanges will be further promoted.
Bulgaria is the first leg of Li's week-long trip to Europe, which will also take the premier to Germany on Sunday. It marks Li's first tour to Bulgaria after taking office, and also the first visit to Bulgaria by a Chinese premier in 18 years.