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Li Keqiang Meets with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republic

On the afternoon of June 17, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republic, who was in China to attend the third Local Leaders' Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) and the second China-CEEC Health Ministers' Forum.

Li Keqiang expressed that China-Czech relations enjoy sound development and President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to the Czech Republic this year. China is willing to, together with the Czech Republic and in the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, cement political mutual trust, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas, especially in boosting mutual investment by accelerating cooperation in civilian nuclear power, high-speed rail and other areas. Both countries should focus on third-party market cooperation to improve the level of manufacturing cooperation, expand financial cooperation, discuss to issue RMB bonds in the Czech Republic, and intensify exchanges and mutual learning in local affairs, health, tourism and other people-to-people and cultural areas so as to push for the long-term and healthy development of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China has fully honored its promises made when it entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) 15 years ago with enormous efforts. The EU and other economies should fulfill their obligations on Section 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of China to the WTO as scheduled, and drop the Surrogate Country approach for anti-dumping investigations against China when the time comes. China-EU trade disputes should be properly addressed via consultation and dialogue and the issue of carrying out obligations should not be linked with other specific issues. It is hoped that the Czech Republic can do more work on this as an EU member, help to liberalize and facilitate trade and investment between China and the EU, and jointly oppose trade protectionism so as to better benefit both peoples.

Praising the great support and participation of the Czech Republic in "16+1 cooperation", Li Keqiang stressed that China-CEEC cooperation and China-EU cooperation supplement and promote each other. It is hoped that the Czech Republic, as an important cooperative partner of China in the EU and the Central and Eastern European region, can work with China to consolidate and strengthen China-EU relations as well as the sound development momentum of "16+1 cooperation" and promote more tangible outcomes featuring mutual benefit and reciprocity from China-EU Leaders' Meeting and China-CEEC Summit to be held later this year.

Bohuslav Sobotka said that Czech-China relations enjoy rapid development with positive results from practical cooperation. He has visited China twice in the past six months and bilateral relations have reached a new level. The Czech Republic is ready to enhance cooperation with China in areas including aviation and finance, fully support "16+1 cooperation", further advance the development of relations between Europe and China and strive to build a financial cooperation and transportation hub between the CEEC and China. The Czech Republic would like to host a CEEC-China Summit. The Czech side understands the importance of EU honoring its obligations on Section 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of China to the WTO and supports an early settlement of the issue.

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