China’s Wang Yi strengthening ties with Poland on European trip

World Today

China's Wang Yi strengthening ties with Poland on European trip(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minster Wang Yi is in Slovakia after just wrapping up a two-day official visit to Poland.

In Warsaw, he met with the country’s top leaders in an effort to build bilateral relations.

CGTN’s Natalie Carney has more.

Poland was one of the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China back in 1949.

This year, the two countries celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations and a desire to deepen their strategic partnership, while also tackling Poland’s trade deficit with China.

Bilateral trade rose to $33 billion in 2018, but Polish exports to China amounted to only two-and-a-half billion.

“China invests a lot in Europe, but only five percent is for middle and eastern European countries. I was encouraging the minister to make bigger investments that would be fruitful for our society in Poland and central and Eastern Europe,” Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi acknowledged that Beijing would like to open the door to more imports from the region.

“We are ready to import from Poland the good quality products that will answer the needs of the Chinese society,” he said.

Wang also met with the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who welcomed China’s move to expand trade with and invest more in Poland.

Beijing acknowledges the contributions Poland can bring to the Belt and Road initiative. It’s located closer to China than the current European center of Duisburg in Germany, Wang said China was eager to help Poland build up its infrastructure.

“We need to make deeper and wider pragmatic cooperations (agreements) by joining our development strategies and using our complimenting assets. The goal is to build a transport corridor. We have to focus on transport infrastructure through cooperation based on productivity,” he said.

On the issue of 5G, the Polish foreign minister reassured China that his country would take a non-discriminatory approach toward entities engaged in building up the technology.

Wang also met with Polish President Andrzej Duda before heading to Slovakia where he will discuss transportation infrastructure with officials in Bratislava.

Hungary, the first European country to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative four years ago, will be the last stop in the foreign minister’s week-long tour of the region.

Wang said China regards the EU as a comprehensive strategic partner, not a rival, as it seeks win-win cooperation.