|Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria|
On July 3, 2019, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria at the Great Hall of the People. The two heads of state agreed to lift China-Bulgaria relations to a strategic partnership.
Xi Jinping pointed out that Bulgaria was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations 70 years ago, traditional friendship has been inherited and carried forward. It is hoped that the two countries will take the upgrading of bilateral relations to a strategic partnership as a new starting point, work together to cope with the test of international changes, add new connotations to China-Bulgaria friendship and inject new impetus into bilateral cooperation.
Xi Jinping stressed that the two sides should respect and trust each other and strengthen exchanges between the two governments, legislative bodies and political parties while continuing to providing firm mutual support on issues involving each other's core interests and major concerns. The two countries share many same or similar views on the international situation and should jointly safeguard the international system based on multilateralism and the international law. Bulgaria is also one of the first Central and Eastern European countries to sign intergovernmental cooperation documents with China on the Belt and Road Initiative. The Chinese side is willing to strengthen the synergy between the two countries' development strategies, promote infrastructure connectivity, expand trade and investment, cement people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as carry forward traditional friendship.
Xi Jinping stressed that the Chinese side highly values China-Europe relations, firmly supports the European integration process, firmly supports the European Union (EU)'s unity and growth and firmly supports Europe in playing a more important role in international affairs, saying that China's upholding such stances is not an expedient measure. It is hoped that the new EU institutions will maintain the stability and continuity of their policy towards China, and work with the Chinese side to promote the building of China-EU partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization on the basis of mutual respect, fairness and justice, win-win cooperation. Bulgaria is a good friend and partner of China in the EU and also an important participant and advocate of the cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries. It is hoped that the Bulgarian side will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.
Rumen Radev said that he was very happy to visit China on the occasion of celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. Lifting Bulgaria-China relations to a strategic partnership will further consolidate the foundation of bilateral relations. As the Belt and Road Initiative is conducive to world peace and prosperity, the Bulgarian side is ready to deeply participate in it by giving full play to its advantages of location in the region and trying to become a gateway and hub connecting Europe and Asia. The Bulgarian side is willing to expand exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese side in such areas as trade, transportation, aviation, logistics, finance, innovation, local areas and people-people and cultural engagement. Chinese enterprises are welcome to increase investment in Bulgaria. Bulgaria supports multilateralism and the World Trade Organization, and stands ready to step up coordination and cooperation with the Chinese side. The Bulgarian side will continuously stay committed to advancing EU-China relations and cooperation between the Central and Eastern European countries and China.
Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcome ceremony for Rumen Radev at the square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Peng Liyuan, Yang Jiechi, Ding Zhongli, Wang Yi, Zhang Qingli, He Lifeng and others were present.