China, Belarus pledge to enhance ties
Xi, Lukashenko agree to further boost high-level exchanges during talks in Beijing
President Xi Jinping pledged on Monday to constantly deepen the relationship between China and Belarus, saying that Beijing is willing to strengthen strategic coordination with Minsk, firmly support each other and promote pragmatic cooperation.
Xi made the remarks during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. Both leaders exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis, among other things.
Lukashenko arrived in Beijing on Sunday, his second visit to China within the year. Xi recalled Lukashenko's state visit to China at the end of February, saying during that visit, they reached an important consensus on promoting the high-level development of China-Belarus relations.
Xi said that over the year, the political mutual trust between the two countries has been further consolidated and their international coordination has become closer.
China always views its relations with Belarus from a strategic and long-term perspective, firmly supports Belarus in following the development path that suits Belarus' national conditions, and opposes interference by external forces in the internal affairs of Belarus, he added.
Xi pointed out that more than 150 countries have signed Belt and Road Initiative cooperation documents in the past decade.
Mentioning the eight major steps he announced at the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in October to support high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Xi called on Belarus to continue its active participation in joint building of the Belt and Road and gain more substantial development opportunities from it.
Xi said the two sides should make greater efforts to implement projects such as the China-Belarus Industrial Park, a landmark cooperation project within the Belt and Road framework, and push for more results in industrial cooperation between the two countries.
Both sides should work to enhance cross-border transportation, promote economic, trade, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, expand collaboration in education, healthcare, sports and tourism, support youth exchanges and cooperation, and enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, he added.
Noting that China and Belarus are important forces participating in the reform and development of the global governance system, Xi underlined the need for both countries to strengthen coordination and cooperation within multilateral mechanisms, such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and promote the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative.
Lukashenko said that Belarus is firmly committed to developing friendly relations with China. It is willing to maintain close high-level exchanges with China, firmly support each other, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, strengthen international and multilateral strategic coordination, and push for greater development in their all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.
Belarus sincerely hopes that China will continue to develop and become stronger, which is conducive to the cause of global peace and progress, Lukashenko said.
He added that the initiatives proposed by President Xi, including the Belt and Road Initiative, are great endeavors that truly gather international consensus and cooperation, and his country will continue to actively participate in them.
China is the second-largest trading partner of Belarus. In the first three quarters of this year, the trade volume between the two countries amounted to $6.45 billion, a year-on-year increase of 83.6 percent, according to the Foreign Ministry.