Xi’s upcoming visit to fortify Sino-Europe ties

Beijing—Shortly after China’s annual meetings of its top legislature and political advisory body, Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin a two-stop tour that will take him to the Czech Republic and the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on March 28-April 1.
The tour will be Xi’s maiden visit to a Central and Eastern European (CEE) country as China’s head of state and his first multilateral diplomatic trip in 2016.
In early March, when the presidential office of the Czech Republic announced Xi’s visit, the local media acclaimed that Xi will be the first Chinese president to visit the Czech Republic in history, which is destined to be historic. China and the Czech Republic established diplomatic relations as early as in October 1949, only five days after the People’s Republic of China was founded.
After 67 years of time-tested development, bilateral ties have entered a new phase that witnesses the fastest development with the most fruitful results in history.
So far, the Czech Republic has become the second biggest trading partner of China in the CEE region, and China has been the Czech Republic’s second biggest trading partner in the world, only next to the European Union (EU). In 2015, two-way trade topped 11 billion U.S. dollars. The two countries also boosted cooperation in the fields of nuclear electricity, banking, science and technology, and infrastructure.
The ever-closer high-level exchanges and increasingly solid political mutual trust have consolidated the general direction of the Sino-Czech relationship. Chinese President Xi and his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman have met four times up to date.
“The Czech Republic plays a decisive role in the CEE with regard to its cultural richness, level of development and geographic location,” said Professor Wang Yiwei of the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China.—Xinhua

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