Xi’s CEE Trip to Elevate Ties

Xi’s Successive CEE Trips to Usher in Golden Age for Ties

(Xinhua News Agency, June 17, 2016. Complete text:) Beijing - Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trips to central and eastern Europe (CEE) this month will elevate ties between the 16 CEE countries and China, paving the way for successful projects under the "Belt and Road" framework.

Xi is scheduled to visit Serbia and Poland from June 17 to 21. He will then travel to Uzbekistan and attend the 16th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Tashkent.

This is the Chinese president’s second trip to the CEE in less than three months.

Even for Xi, whose globetrotting has already taken him to five continents in a little more than three years, such frequent visits to one single region are rare.

"This demonstrates the value China attaches to the ‘16+1’ cooperation and to the collaboration between China and Europe in a more general sense," said Liu Zuokui, a CEE expert with the Institute of European Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Xi visited the Czech Republic in late March this year. It was Xi’s first trip to the CEE as China’s top leader, and the first by a Chinese president ever to that European country.

Many saw the March trip as part of Xi’s efforts to refine his new diplomacy push. Before March, Xi had already traveled to some 40 countries in the capacity of China’s president, with CEE nations being an exception.

Still more saw it as a sign of closer links between China and the CEE, and the Serbian and Polish tours are set to strengthen that bond, they say.

"China and CEE countries share traditional friendship, which naturally draws the two sides closer and drives them forward in ...

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