Chinese president arrives in Czech Republic for state visit

2016-03-28 12:31:06 GMT2016-03-28 20:31:06(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

PRAGUE, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here Monday to start a three-day state visit to the Czech Republic, as China seeks closer China-Czech ties and stronger relations with Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

It is the first state visit by a Chinese president in 67 years since the two countries established diplomatic ties, which is also Xi's maiden visit to the CEE region since he assumed presidency in 2013 and his first trip to Europe this year.

Officials and experts from both countries believe that the China-Czech relations have been ushered into "the best time in history."

Xi and Czech President Milos Zeman met four times in two years. Following his state visit to China in October 2014, Zeman came to Beijing in September 2015 to attend the commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

During his stay in the Czech Republic, Xi will hold talks with Zeman and meet Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Senate Chairman Milan Stech, Chamber of Deputies Chairman Jan Hamacek and Prague Mayor Adriana Krnacova.

"This is an opportune time for the development of the China-Czech relations. I look forward to working with Czech leaders to further enhance bilateral relations and push for new progress in '16+1' cooperation and China-EU relations," Xi said in his signed article published on the Pravo Daily ahead of his state visit.

So far, China is the Czech Republic's largest trading partner outside the European Union, while the Czech Republic has been China's second largest trading partner in Central and Eastern Europe for many years in a row.

Situated at the heartland of Europe, the Czech Republic enjoys advantageous location and strong industrial foundation. Beijing and Prague have huge cooperation potential in manufacturing, nuclear power and infrastructure construction.

During Xi's visit, the two countries will sign a number of cooperative agreements covering economy and trade, infrastructure, finance, health care, aviation, science and technology, and culture.

China's "Belt and Road Initiative" has presented unprecedented opportunities for the cooperation between the two nations, helping synergize their development strategies.

Beijing and Prague signed an intergovernmental MOU on jointly building the "Belt and Road Initiative" in November 2015. In the same year, a traditional Chinese medicine research center was inaugurated in the Czech Republic and a direct flight opened between Beijing and Prague.

The steady development of the China-Czech ties is in accordance with the strong cooperation momentum between China and the CEE region. All 16 CEE countries are along the route of the "Belt and Road."

Major cooperation projects between China and the CEE countries are moving ahead steadily. The Belgrade bridge over the Danube has been completed and opened to traffic. China will also make every effort to advance the flagship project of the Budapest-Belgrade railway.

Xi is also expected to raise proposals for the "16+1" cooperation during his stay in Prague, further directing the strategic China-CEE engagement.

After visiting the Czech Republic, Xi will fly to Washington D.C. to attend the fourth Nuclear Security Summit, to be held from March 31 to April 1.


Feature: Czech people hope Xi's visit will bring benefits

by Xinhua writer Bai Jie

PRAGUE, March 27 (Xinhua) -- "The Chinese president's visit to Prague is a very exciting moment and I am very proud that my country is the first and the only country he is visiting in the Central and Eastern Europe," Czech antiquary Oldrich Hejtmanek told Xinhua in downtown Prague ahead of President Xi Jinping's arrival for a three-day state visit.

The visit, starting from Monday, will be the first state visit by a Chinese president since the two countries established diplomatic ties 67 years ago.?

Add Comment