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Li stresses cooperation with EU

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-28 07:33

A man waves a Croatian flag on the Peljesac Bridge in Komarna, southern Croatia, as it opens to traffic on Tuesday. A Chinese consortium, led by China Road and Bridge Corp, won the bid to build the bridge and its access roads in 2018. AP

Premier marks landmark opening of China-built Peljesac Bridge in Croatia

Premier Li Keqiang has called on China and the European Union to carry out cooperation and learn from each other on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, which conforms to the fundamental and long-term interests of both sides.

He made the remark in an address via video link on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the China-built Peljesac Bridge which connects Croatia's mainland with its southernmost region.

Li, who pressed the start button on a pile driver at the bridge's construction site three years ago with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, hailed the on-schedule completion of the bridge as a remarkable achievement.

The 2.4-kilometer bridge, co-funded by the European Union, was built by a consortium led by China Road and Bridge Corp. The company outbid two competitors to win the public procurement procedure in 2018.

The bridge is the largest-scale traffic infrastructure construction project since China and Croatia established diplomatic ties. It is also a project of third-party market cooperation among China, Croatia and the EU.

Li said the bridge is an embodiment of China-EU cooperation and a model of mutually beneficial cooperation between them that complements each other's advantages.

Despite the impact on the world economy of several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical conflicts, the bridge brings confidence and hope for economic globalization and open cooperation, he said.

The premier said China and the EU can not only bolster their respective development through cooperation, but also make positive contributions for humanity's progress.

Under the current circumstances, China and the EU should jointly safeguard the rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core and work together to build an open world economy, he said.

As this year marks the 30th anniversary of China and Croatia establishing diplomatic relations, Li said the completion and opening of the bridge adds a new landmark to the friendship between the two countries and their peoples.

He expressed his hope that the Peljesac Bridge will not only improve the lives and well-being of Croatians, but also shine a light for future relations and cooperation between China and Croatia as well as China and the EU.

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