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Beijing upgrades Luxembourg ties

By Zhang Yunbi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-13 07:15

Premier Li meets with visiting PM Bettel as raft of deals are signed

Airline freight shipping was a major highlight of the cooperative agreements made by China and Luxembourg on Monday as Premier Li Keqiang met with visiting Prime Minister Xavier Bettel.

The four pacts signed after their meeting included a deal about joint investment involving airline freight shipping companies from Luxembourg and central China's Henan province.

Officials and experts observed that the agreement was made at a time when China is expanding connectivity cooperation with the country well known as a European financial and transportation hub.

As early as 2014, a company owned by the Henan provincial government purchased 35 percent of shares in Luxembourg's Cargolux Airlines International.

During the meeting, Li proposed the two countries should expand their agreement on aviation rights arrangement and reinforce cooperation in areas such as trade, investment and financing.

Li said the two countries should push to upgrade their cooperation on steel and explore cooperation involving both countries and third-party markets.

Bettel said Luxembourg is ready to expand cooperation with China in areas such as trade, investment, financing, space technology, steel, aviation and telecommunications.

Also on Monday, the two countries signed agreements in areas including internet financing, public security and joint film shooting.

Zhu Jing, deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of European Affairs, said the two countries are ready to make Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, and Luxembourg important hubs on a Silk Road in the air connecting China and Europe.

That is part of their bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Zhu told reporters in a briefing after the meeting.

Bettel will travel to Zhengzhou on Tuesday, and one of his trip's purposes is to witness the success of bilateral cooperation in airline freight shipping, Zhu added.

Feng Zhongping, vice-president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said that within the context of co-building the Belt and Road, China and Europe are embracing facilitated trade and they are getting closer in matters related to connectivity.

The two sides are witnessing great development in infrastructure facilities, including rail and ports, Feng said.

The leader of Luxembourg, a key financial partner of China within the European Union, began his official visit to China on Sunday.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between the two countries.

Relations between them have developed in a lasting, healthy and stable manner, and have set a good example for Chinese-European ties, Li said.

Speaking on China's relationship with the European Union, Li said that in the current context of international politics and economy, the two sides should jointly send signals promoting the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment.

They should signal their willingness to make globalization more inclusive and of benefit to all, and they should champion international order, such as laid out in the Charter of the United Nations and the rules of the World Trade Organization, Premier Li said.

Bettel said Luxembourg upholds free trade and multilateralism, and is ready to boost communication and coordination with China to jointly tackle global challenges.

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