Some party leaders from Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries expressed willingness in Bucharest on July 14 to further cooperate with China on the Belt and Road Initiative and promote China-Europe ties.
"An old Chinese adage says he who does not climb the mountain, does not know how high the sky is. In my opinion, Europe and China should climb the mountain together to get to know the benefits of economic development, which brings prosperity to both countries," said Chairman of Romania's ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) Liviu Dragnea at the China-CEE countries political parties dialogue.
"China is a trustful ally of Europe, and I believe Central and Eastern Europe are a gate to economic and commercial cooperation between the two continents that have two important pillars: China and the European Union (EU)," he noted.
He hailed the contact between the EU and China under the the Belt and Road Initiative, and believed both sides will come together on projects of mutual interest.
Jan Hamacek, Speaker of the Czech Parliament and Deputy Chairman of the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD), also quoted a Chinese proverb, saying: "A thousand-mile journey begins with a single step."
"This was very much the case with the remarkable transformation of Czech-Chinese relations we have witnessed over the span of just last four years," he said.
The Czech Republic is keen to further deepen cooperation between China and the 16 CEE countries as well as actively pursue the deepening of the EU-China strategic partnership, he added.
At his keynote speech, senior Communist Party of China (CPC) official Liu Yunshan said both being emerging markets, China and the CEE countries face the same historic task of promoting development.
He proposed both sides champion the vision of win-win outcomes and reject the notion of the zero-sum game or winner taking all, and identify converging points of interests and the biggest common ground for cooperation.
Belt & Road participation
Hamacek took pride in the fact that the Czech Republic has become a leader in spearheading the Belt and Road Initiative in the CEE region.
"Last year in Riga, we signed the Action Plan for Cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Now we are about to launch the Czech-Chinese Center for Cooperation, the first center of its kind established in the region," he said.
"This initiative is a great example of peaceful cooperation among nations," he added.
Piotr Zgorzelski, Secretary of the Supreme Executive Committee of the Polish People's Party echoed Hamacek's view. "Technological progress forces us to look at sub-national cooperation in a much wider context that we are used to do. The Belt and Road Initiative is a great example of such view," he said.
"Its pillar is an overland route of transportation of goods connecting China with Europe via Russia and Poland. Chineurope is born, the most powerful land economic structure ever created," he announced.
Zgorzelski expressed belief that investment in the initiative will deepen integration among related countries, and intensify economic cooperation.
"The project itself is a chance for thousands of companies, employees and businessman from dozens of countries," he said.
According to Jiri Dolejs, Vice Chairman of the Communist Party of Bohemia & Moravia in the Czech Republic, the Belt and Road Initiative has become a strategic framework of cooperation between China and the EU.
"It gives an opportunity to the countries of Central Europe, too, to participate in this global initiative based on a 'win-win' principle," he said.
For his part, Liu, the visiting senior CPC official, said the Belt and Road Initiative has become a public good welcomed by the international community and will provide sustained dynamism for world development and prosperity.
"As the Belt and Road Initiative injects new dynamism into economic globalization, China and the CEE countries should champion the spirit of openness and inclusiveness," Liu said.
The dialogue between political parties from China and the CEE was held here on Friday. The dialogue, the first of its kind within the China-CEE 16+1 cooperation mechanism, was inaugurated in 2016 in Budapest.