China pledges to deepen all-round pragmatic cooperation with Latvia


RIGA,    (Xinhua) — China is willing to deepen pragmatic cooperation with Latvia in all spheres for mutual benefits and win-win results, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here on Friday.

Li made the remarks while meeting with his Latvian counterpart Maris Kucinskis. The Chinese premier is currently on an eight-day tour of four Eurasian nations including Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Russia.

This is the first time for a Chinese premier to visit Latvia since it declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

During the talks, he said China regards Latvia as an important transit station for the China-EU trade, and stands ready to participate in major infrastructure projects including Rail Baltica and the three-sea harbor district cooperation initiative, citing the nation’s cost-effective equipment and rich experience in railway and port construction.

The three-sea harbor initiative refers to cooperation programs concerning the Adriatic Sea, the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea, proposed by Li during the fourth leaders’ meeting between China and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries held in the southern Chinese city of Suzhou last year.

Li described Latvia as China’s good friend in the Baltic area and an important partner of cooperation in the CEE and EU.

The two nations have enjoyed growing bilateral political mutual trust, deepened practical cooperation and closer people-to-people exchanges in the past 25 years since they forged diplomatic ties, Li said.

He vowed to promote exchanges at different levels and further lift bilateral ties on the basis of mutual respect and equality.

Li appreciated Latvia’s support for and participation in the China-CEE cooperation, hoping to join Latvia in making sure this year’s China-CEE summit a success to contribute to the prosperity of China, CEE and Europe at large.

For his part, Kucinskis said the two countries have seen smooth cooperation in the past 25 years and bilateral relations are at a record high.

He said Latvia wants to be a reliable cooperation partner of China, supporting and participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and promoting pragmatic cooperation in infrastructure, transportation, logistics, clean oil refining, tourism, education and farm products.

He also promised to offer stable environment for Chinese investment and become a portal for Chinese businesses to enter the CEE market.

He said Latvia is happy to host the China-CEE summit, considering the mechanism an important platform for China-CEE cooperation and complementary for bilateral ties.

After talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents in trade, transportation and culture.