16 Apr 2019 12:07

Chinese ambassador to Russia favors aligning One Belt, One Road, EAEU projects

MOSCOW/BEIJING. April 15 (Interfax) - Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui has called for bolstering cooperation between China and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and aligning the One Road, One Belt initiative and EAEU projects.

"First and foremost, it is necessary to heighten the leading role of the system and to optimize bilateral trade environment," Li told the Russian press.

The sides "could keep working on the alignment of the system and business regulations in order to create favorable environment for trade and economic contacts," he said.

Cooperation should develop "in many sectors and through various channels," Li said.

"China and the EAEU are complementing each other. We can cooperate in many areas and have plenty of available cooperation platforms," he said.

He called for "stepping up talks on free trade areas and constantly increasing presence on each other's markets."

China and Russia released a joint statement on the alignment of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the EAEU in May 2015, and made some headway before the China-EAEU economic cooperation agreement was concluded in 2018, Li said.

In all, 124 countries and 29 international organizations have agreed with China on promoting the One Belt, One Road project, he said.

China achieved important results after President Xi Jinping visited Italy, France, and Germany in March 2019, Li said.

"China and Italy signed an intergovernmental memorandum of mutual understanding in the One Belt, One Road project," Li said, adding that the initiative would be aligned to the construction of ports in northern Italy and investments in Italy.

"France and Germany also pledged their active participation in the Second Belt and Road Forum," Li said.

The Second Belt and Road Forum will take place in Beijing in late April, and President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony, he said.

The forum will be held on a higher level and have a more diverse audience, Li said.