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Li urges open economy

By Zhang Yue in Brussels | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-20 07:51
Premier Li Keqiang and European Council President Donald Tusk speak as they walk with Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (right) and other leaders arriving to pose for a group photograph during an ASEM summit at the European Council in Brussels on Friday. [Photo/Agencies]

Premier says Asia, Europe can work together to protect multilateralism

Asian and European countries should work together to play a guiding role in protecting multilateralism and to build an open global economy, Premier Li Keqiang said.

Li made the remarks while addressing the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Friday.

Only when all countries work hand-in-hand and implement multilateralism can we properly handle global challenges, Li said.

He said it is important for Asia and Europe to enhance coordination and cooperation in maintaining the rule-based international order, the authority of the United Nations and the principle of the UN charter.

World economic recovery does not come easily, and it is important to stick to the broad direction of opening-up and development, Li said.

He said properly adjusting the rules of the World Trade Organization must be done under the principle of adhering to free trade and respecting the interests of different sides.

China is willing to align its Belt and Road Initiative with the development of all countries to boost connectivity and achieve common prosperity, Li said.

He called on Asian and European countries to realize interactive development by promoting connectivity, which will include cooperation in transportation, industry and logistics.

Better alignment with one another in policy and standards to tap cooperative potential regarding capital, services and technology should also be enhanced, he said.

Noting that China is still a developing country facing uneven development, Li said such unevenness also means huge potential for growth. China is fully capable of maintaining a healthy and sustainable development of its economy in the face of external changes, he said.

The country will continue to deepen reform and create a level playing field for both local and foreign investors, and will enhance protection for intellectual property, Li said.

Li also held a number of bilateral talks with leaders attending the meeting from Thursday to Friday.

While meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, Li said China is ready to work with France to further expand two-way opening-up to promote bilateral trade and investment balance.

He said that negotiations of the China-Europe bilateral investment treaty are not mutually exclusive with China-France trade and investment cooperation, and both can be implemented without coming into conflict.

France is willing to keep high-level exchanges with China, Macron said. He said his country is willing to enhance pragmatic cooperation with China in areas of nuclear energy and agriculture.

While meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Li said China is ready to work with Vietnam to promote production capacity cooperation that meets environmental standards and benefits Vietnam's industrialization process on the basis of top-level consensus.

When meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Li called on the two countries to enhance the synergy of their development strategies and expand bilateral trade.

Li also met with British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.

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