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China, Lithuania Agree to Build Stronger Ties
 

China and Lithuania have agreed to facilitate closer cooperation and stronger ties as China's top legislator Zhang Dejiang concluded his visit to the Baltic country on April 16.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress (NPC), paid an official goodwill visit to Lithuania on April 14-16.

"The history of China-Lithuania ties shows that it could achieve stable and healthy growth as long as the two countries respect each other, treat one another equally, understand and support each other on issues regarding respective core interests and major concerns," Zhang told Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.

Zhang said China-Lithuania relations have entered a mature and stable new stage.

China has always advocated that all countries, no matter big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community, Zhang said.

He vowed joint efforts with Lithuania to cement understanding and trust, and boost bilateral ties up to a new high.

China's stable economic growth will offer more development opportunities for various countries including Lithuania, Zhang said.

Grybauskaite, for her part, said Lithuania highly values its relations with China, sticks to the one-China policy and respects China's core interests.

She pledged to strengthen high-level exchanges and practical cooperation with China.

In his meeting with Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, Zhang hailed the sound momentum of bilateral cooperation in all areas. "The two-way trade volume saw an increase last year regardless of the sluggish world economy, which reflected the potential of bilateral trade cooperation," Zhang said.

The cooperation between both sides in such areas as transport logistics and infrastructure has witnessed remarkable progress under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the cooperation mechanism between China and 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, Zhang said.

Launched in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is a massive economic and trade project for common development and prosperity in countries along its routes in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Zhang called for Lithuania to offer policy support for cooperation between companies of both sides.

China highly treasures its relations with Europe, firmly supports the European integration, and regards Lithuania as an important partner in the European Union (EU), Zhang said, urging the country to contribute to closer China-EU ties.

Skvernelis told Zhang that Lithuania is ready to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and the CEE-China cooperation, vowing to cement cooperation with China in transportation, agriculture, technology and tourism.

He appreciated China's support for Lithuania's export of agricultural products.

Zhang also held talks with Speaker Viktoras Pranckietis of Seimas, the Lithuanian parliament.

Calling parliamentary exchanges an important component of bilateral ties, Zhang urged the two legislative bodies to forge closer links, consolidate political trust, enhance communications of policies and laws, share governance experience and expand exchanges between the people, parties and localities.

Pranckietis vowed to boost exchanges with the Chinese NPC to contribute to bilateral friendship and overall relations.

During his stay in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, Zhang visited Vilnius University and its Confucius Institute.

Lithuania is the second leg of Zhang's four-nation tour on April 12-21. After winding up his visits to Latvia and Lithuania, he will travel to Belarus and Russia.

(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2017)
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