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Wang Yi Meets with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva of the EU Rotating Presidency Bulgaria

On May 22, 2018 local time, after attending the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva of Bulgaria. The country is the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU).

Wang Yi expressed that people of China and Bulgaria enjoy profound friendship and both countries share a solid foundation of political relations. No matter how the international and regional situation changes, the two sides always understand, trust and support each other. Bulgaria is China's important cooperation partner in Central and Eastern Europe. Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Bulgaria diplomatic relations. China is willing to work with Bulgaria to well plan the commemorative activities, and take the 70th anniversary as an opportunity to push bilateral relations for more sustained, stable and forward-looking development. Both sides should give play to their own advantages and draw on each others' strengths, and enhance exchanges and cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, connectivity, production capacity, as well as people-to-people and cultural engagement under the framework of the "Belt and Road" so as to inject new and strong impetus into the development of bilateral relations.

Wang Yi expressed that, in recent years, China and Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) (16+1) have carried out mutually beneficial cooperation based on equality, which has played an active role in promoting the economic development of the 16 countries. The 16+1 cooperation and China-EU cooperation move in parallel without conflicts and objectively contribute to advancing the European integration process. Bulgaria will hold the China-CEEC Summit this year. It is believed that with the joint efforts of both sides, the Summit will surely yield new outcomes and push the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the CEEC to new stages. China hopes that the EU will continue to adhere to open market and free trade, and is pleased to see Bulgaria play an active role in promoting the sound development of the China-EU relations.

Ekaterina Zaharieva expressed that lately the Chinese government has made great efforts to rescue the famous Bulgarian mountaineer Boyan Petrov who was missing in the Himalayas. The Bulgarian government and people will bear Chinese people's profound friendship and valuable assistance firmly in mind. Bulgaria highly values China and hopes to take the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2019 as an opportunity to further enhance the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between Bulgaria and China. Bulgaria supports the "Belt and Road" initiative, and stands ready to further strengthen infrastructure construction and connectivity under this framework. Bulgaria is now positively preparing for the China-CEEC Summit and warmly welcomes Chinese leaders to attend the Summit in Bulgaria and visit the country. Bulgaria stands ready to intensify cooperation with China to ensure that the Summit will yield fruitful results. The 16+1 cooperation does not influence the EU-China cooperation. As a good friend of China, Bulgaria supports the development of the 16+1 cooperation and the EU-China relations and is willing to continuously play an active role in this regard.

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