China’s PM visit is of great importance to SCO countries including Pakistan

China’s PM visit is of great importance to SCO countries including Pakistan

BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s upcoming visit to Russia is of great importance to China’s cooperation with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) countries including Pakistan, officials said here on Thursday.

Premier Li will attend the sixth meeting of heads of government of China and CEE countries during his official visit to Hungary from November 26-29 and attend the 16th meeting of the Council of SCO Heads of Government (PMs) in the Russian city of Sochi from November 30 to December 1.

“The premier’s trip to Hungary is an important visit to Europe by Chinese leaders after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC),” said Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao at a press briefing.

The China-CEE meeting in Hungary coincides with the fifth anniversary of the establishment of China’s cooperation with CEE countries and will be of great significance for expanding 16+1 cooperation and advancing the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, said Wang.

During his stay in Hungary, Li will attend the 16+1 leaders’ roundtable and the opening ceremony of the 7th China-CEE countries economic and trade forum, witness the signing of 16+1 cooperation agreements and meet with other leaders, according to Wang.

The leaders will mainly discuss issues including connectivity, trade and investment, finance, green economy and innovation, the vice foreign minister added.

Bilateral trade between China and CEE countries rose to $58.7 billion last year, up by 11 per cent from 2011.

As for the SCO heads of government meeting, it is the first of its kind since the SCO membership expansion in June in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The Chinese premier will expound the principles and policies of the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and its significance to the ties between China and the SCO countries, said Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai.

China, which holds the first rotating presidency after the expansion, will work with other countries to promote the Belt and Road construction, and reach new consensus on the alignment of development strategies, connectivity, industrial capacity cooperation and cultural exchanges, he said.

With the accession of India and Pakistan at the 17th SCO summit in Astana, the SCO covers three-fifths of Eurasia, and has nearly half of the world population.

Assistant Minister of Commerce Li Chenggang also said China hopes the SCO meeting will help discover new driving forces for economic growth, expand new areas of economic cooperation and fight against trade protectionism.