Meeting with First Vice Prime Minister of the State Council of China Zhang Gaoli
The relations between Belarus and China are a good example of building equal, respectful and mutually beneficial dialogue, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Zhang Gaoli, First Vice Prime Minister of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, on 26 September.
“Your country has always been our reliable partner. The development of relations with China has been and will be a strategic priority of the Belarusian foreign policy,” the head of state remarked.
According to the President, the dynamics of contacts and the level of agreements that have been reached recently confirm that Belarus-China ties constantly grow stronger.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the visit of the Chinese delegation to Minsk is very timely and pointed unique opportunities for further cooperation.
The head of state also noted that despite there were certain concerns regarding the intensification of bilateral cooperation as it interferes with the interests of various sides, these concerns now tend to fall by the wayside. “The two countries need to move closer to each other more quickly,” the President is convinced. He explained: “We are interested in having a very strong footing on such a huge state as China which is involved in addressing every issue in the world today.”
“China’s support is a factor of independence of our state. Taking into account that we get similar support from the Russian Federation, I dare say that Belarus becomes virtually invincible,” the President said addressing the Chinese guest.
“As for your interest, I have already told Xi Jinping that China’s further development and its positioning in the world as a superpower cannot go without cooperation with Europe,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated. He remarked that Belarus is ready to provide any kind of assistance to intensify all-round contacts, including trade relations, between China and Europe. “Belarus is ready to help China strengthen its influence in Europe,” the head of state assured.
The meeting focused on the ways to ramp up Belarus-China trade and economic cooperation. In this respect, Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the Chinese side for investments and a serious support provided to Belarus in sponsoring joint projects. The most important of them is the project to build the Chinese-BelarusianIndustrial Park.
The President supported China’s initiative to give the Park a status of the interstate project. The main objective is to attract high-profile companies from Belarus and China, Europe and other continents.
“Our major goal is to cooperate in setting up high-tech productions that will be in demand in the European space,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. The President expressed confidence that serious steps will be made this year to set up the Park.
The head of state emphasized that Belarus is proud of the high-level relations it has with China. “Belarus feels the shoulder and support of China,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
He also assured that Belarus’ position in respect to China would stay unchanged.
“The development of trade, economic, and investment cooperation is a most important area of the joint work today. The Chinese-BelarusianIndustrial Park project shall demonstrate the high level of our cooperation and show what we are capable of to the whole world,” the President noted.
According to the head of state, a number of economic projects have been implemented in Belarus with the participation of Chinese companies. Among them are the modernization of the energy system and the cement industry, electrification of railways. It is worth saying that the work in the energy sector, road constriction, wood processing, pulp and paper industry goes on. Another project is the car production with assistance of the Chinese company Geely.
“For the sake of successful implementation of the aforementioned projects the Belarusian side has enabled the most favorable doing business conditions in the European space,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized. “This is why we count on vigorous investment efforts from the Chinese side,” he added.
“I am convinced that for the oncoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Belarus in near future the sides will fill the format of Belarusian-Chinese relations with concrete content. Comprehensive strategic partnership is the idea,” the head of state stressed.