China-Wallonia freight train for cross-border e-commerce leaves for Liege of Belgium. Beijing is ready with Brussels to strengthen the cooperation
China, Belgium set model for China-EU cooperation. Beijing is ready with Brussels to strengthen the cooperation between two countries and exchanges at all levels. The China-Europe freight train for cross-border e-commerce finally departed from Zhengzhou, capital of Central China’s Henan province, March 2, 2019. The train, named “Cainiao”, left Zhengzhou for Liege of Belgium on Saturday.
The new route was officially launched last year during the occasion of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the twinning between the Walloon Region and Henan Province. That day an official delegation led by Vice-Governor He Jinping of Henan Province was invited by her counterpart Pierre-Yves Jeholet, Vice-President of the Walloon Government, and the Wallonia Export-Investment Agency (AWEX), to visit Wallonia with the aim of strengthening the close friendship and the collaboration between the two regions.
Belgium is a reliable partner of China in Europe. Last year in October, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Belgium to strengthen cooperation between Brussels and Beijing. His tours come amid China’s efforts to boost economic and trade ties with Europe against the backdrop of rising unilateralism and protectionism in the world.
Henan Province, located in the heart of Central China, is one of the most populated region in China, with the second-tier city Zhengzhou leading consumes in the area.
Following “Made in China 2025” strategy, today, the economic profile of the Province is changing thanks to “Central Plains Economic Zone (CPEZ)”, which aims at empowering economically the territorial heart of China. The Province is now particularly specialised in electrical manufacturing, logistics hubs creation at the instigation of Beijing and accentuates the modernisation of its agricultural base. Today, Henan is producing a GDP among the top 5 of the country.
The relationship between Henan Province and the Walloon Region has been boosted ever since the first official meeting in 2013, at the initiative of the AWEX. Delegations have then come in succession between the two regions, which allowed for new projects in the logistics and tourism sectors as well as for cooperation in the agronomics and animal health sectors.
Zhengzhou, capital of Henan, is at the heart of this new dynamic and has benefited from the recent Chinese railway development and the improvement of a large amount of logistics infrastructures for air transportation. The city is to become the future airline and logistics hub from the new central China.
Belgium established diplomatic relations with China on October 25, 1971. Since 2000, the two countries have maintained close high-level interactions.
The steady development of China-Belgium relations was based on mutual respect, equality and caring for each other’s core interests, then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of China-Belgium diplomatic ties in 2011.
China and Belgium decided to upgrade their relations to an all-round partnership of friendship and cooperation during President Xi’s state visit to Belgium in 2014.
In 2015, King Philippe of Belgium traveled to China for a week-long state visit at Xi’s invitation. “The China-Belgium relationship is at its height after years of smooth development,” Xi told King Philippe, noting that China regards Belgium as an important partner in the European Union. King Philippe said Belgium is a reliable partner of China in Europe and will act as a bridge between the two sides.
With the EU headquartered in Brussels, Belgium plays a vital role in European affairs and is promoting the docking between the investment plan for Europe and China’s Belt and Road Initiative enjoying fruitful economic and trade cooperation.
Belgium is China’s sixth largest trading partner in the EU. The bilateral trade volume once exceeded 30 billion US dollars.
Belgium has actively carried out project investment in China in fields such as medicine, equipment, and chemical and IT industries. Both sides have worked together on a number of joint ventures and created some well-known brands in China, including Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical and Guangzhou Zhujiang Brewery Group. Brussels is also an active partner of China in financial sectors.
It was the first Western country to provide China with interest-free loans and also the first country to establish an industrial cooperation fund with China.
In November 2004, China-Belgium Direct Equity Investment Fund, the first industrial investment fund between the two, was established. Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China opened branches in Brussels in 2011.
The reinforced cooperation between China and the EU as well as between China and EU member states will add more positive factors to global stability and development as well as inject more positive energy into the recovery of the world economy.
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