Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli visits Estonia

On April 13, 2017 local time, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli met with President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia in Tallinn at invitation.

Zhang Gaoli first conveyed President Xi Jinping's warm greetings and best wishes. Zhang Gaoli said that over the past 26 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Estonia, bilateral relations have seen steady development. In recent years, both sides have kept increasingly close high-level exchanges, deeply developed practical cooperation, and reinforced people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Both sides celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations last year, marking that bilateral relations have entered into a new phase featuring maturity and stability. China attaches importance to developing its relationship with Estonia, and is willing to work together with Estonia to further consolidate traditional friendship, enhance political mutual trust and push bilateral exchanges and cooperation for more achievements, so as to elevate China-Estonia relations to a higher level.

Zhang Gaoli said that Estonia is an important country in the Baltic Sea region and is also an important cooperation partner of China in Central and Eastern Europe. The "Belt and Road" initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping has received active support and participation from over 100 countries and international organizations around the world. China speaks highly of Estonia's support and participation in the construction of the "Belt and Road", and hopes that both countries can actively push forward the docking of development strategies so as to add new impetus into China-Estonia friendly cooperation. Both sides should give full play to their advantages and deeply tap their cooperation potentials in fields including infrastructure construction, production capacity cooperation, equipment manufacturing, agriculture, and information technology to advance the improvement and upgrade of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. China is willing to work together with Estonia to explore the possibility to cooperate in major projects including the Rail Baltic.

Zhang Gaoli pointed out that China has always regarded Europe as an important power in the world, and firmly supports the integration process of Europe. As Estonia is going to hold the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of this year, China hopes that President Kersti Kaljulaid and the Estonian side can exert a positive influence in the EU, and push for greater development of China-EU relations.

Kersti Kaljulaid welcomed Zhang Gaoli's visit to Estonia and asked Zhang Gaoli to convey her warm greetings and best wishes to President Xi Jinping. Kersti Kaljulaid said, since the establishment of diplomatic relations, relations between China and Estonia have continuously been deepened and fruitful results have been achieved from bilateral cooperation. Estonia attaches great importance to strengthening cooperation with China under the framework of the "16+1Cooperation", and hopes to take the construction of the "Belt and Road" as an opportunity to expand economic and trade cooperation with China. The EUs free trade with more partners conforms to the interests of both sides, and Estonia will strive to promote the development of China-EU relations. She would like to visit China as early as possible. It is believed that China-Estonia cooperation will embrace a brighter future.

On the same day, Zhang Gaoli also held talks with Prime Minister Juri Ratas of Estonia. Zhang Gaoli conveyed Premier Li Keqiang's warm regards and good wishes. He said that bilateral cooperation enjoys complementary advantages, mutual benefit and win-win results, which are conducive to the two countries and two peoples. China maintains that each country, big or small, is an equal member of the international community, and that all countries should choose the development path suited to their own national conditions. China is willing to work with Estonia to further strengthen high-level exchanges, enhance political mutual trust as well as expand exchanges and cooperation in areas such as infrastructure construction, economy and trade, production capacity, transportation and logistics, agriculture, culture and tourism.

Zhang Gaoli stated that while global economic structures are undergoing deep adjustment and industrial structures are seeing profound changes, the promotion of economic globalization and trade liberalization becomes more important. China adheres to its basic state policy of opening-up and pursues the open strategy of mutual benefit and win-win results, which will benefit other countries and their peoples while achieving its own development.

Juri Ratas asked Zhang Gaoli to convey his warm greetings and best wishes to Premier Li Keqiang. He said that Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli's visit is of great importance to promote the in-depth development of bilateral relations. Currently, as cooperation in economy and trade between China and Estonia is the closest in history, Estonia stands ready to further deepen bilateral cooperation in fields including economy, trade, transportation, logistics, and third-party markets. Estonia admires China's great achievements in economic development, supports free trade, and is willing to actively promote the development of China-EU relations during the rotating presidency of the EU. Juri Ratas welcomed more Chinese tourists to travel to Estonia.

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