Meeting with Premier of State Council of People's Republic of China Li Keqiang

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang in Beijing on 1 March.

The head of state thanked the Chinese side for the enormous assistance and support of Belarus. He noted that this is his 13th visit to China as president. At one time, Belarus adopted China’s experience of free economic zones. "We learned all the best from you (we started this process 30 years ago). We've done a lot since then. The pearl project crowning our relations is Great Stone, a major international project that Chinese President Xi Jinping and I inaugurated near Minsk. He called this project the pearl of the Silk Road," the head of state said. “Back then I said that we would never leave favors unanswered to the great Chinese people. This has always been the case in the history of our people. I have worked with three Chinese Presidents: Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and the incumbent President Xi Jinping."

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that with the direct participation of Li Keqiang, the countries had achieved the almost impossible. Earlier, the countries dreamed of $5 billion in trade. Today, this figure has almost reached $6 billion and continues to grow.

"We have no closed topics for cooperation. We cooperate in all avenues. Most importantly, we have never set ourselves the task of being friends or working against third countries. We are doing everything in the interests of our peoples - Belarusian and Chinese. This will continue to be the case," the Belarusian leader assured.

He noted that the heads of state agreed on the current negotiations at the meeting in Samarkand last autumn. "We will try to outline new horizons of our cooperation," the Belarusian president said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also congratulated the Chinese side on the successful conduct of the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party: "We carefully watched the development of the situation, the congress. We see the situation that is developing in the international arena. We congratulate you on calm, thoughtful movement forward. You go your own way, you do not interfere with anyone and do not react to small bites. This is fully in keeping with the spirit and character of the Chinese people."

"We wish you successes. This is our pragmatism. Because if China is strong, Belarus will be strong too," the Belarusian leader stressed. “We have many proposals, a lot of plans that will be beneficial to both Belarus and China. The main thing (and I said this to Jiang Zemin, then Hu Jintao) is that you have a friend in the face of peaceful Belarus in the center of Europe. Let’s work together and intensify our relations for the benefit of our peoples. Belarus has no closed topics, no closed regions for you. Come, and we will cooperate. Our friendship has become all-weather, comprehensive. We are ready to act in this vein and meet the Chinese people halfway."

In turn, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang said: "Our relations are built on the basis of cooperation and mutual benefit. Our relations have very broad prospects for development. I am sure that Chinese-Belarusian relations are developing on the basis of long-term friendship."

After the meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko laid a wreath at the Monument to the People's Heroes on Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

The national anthems of Belarus and China were played, after which a wreath in the colors of the State Flag of the Republic of Belarus was laid at the foot of the monument to the solemn melody "Flowers for Heroes".