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Relationship with China to see further progress in coming years: Belgian FM
2016-09-29 16:47

Belgium's relationship with China has seen steady development in the past decades, and will make further progress in the near future, said Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders here on Wednesday. 

Reynders attended the reception hosted by the Chinese Embassy in Brussels to mark the National Day of the People's Republic of China, which falls on Oct. 1. 

2016 marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between China and Belgium. China is Belgium's second largest trading partner outside the European Union (EU), and Belgium remains China's seventh largest trading partner in the EU. 

In an interview with Xinhua, the minister said that both political and economic ties between the two countries had significantly grown in the past 45 years. 

"Since we established diplomatic relations, China has seen an extraordinary economic growth, therefore our investment and trade relations with China are increasing year by year in both directions," Reynders said. 

"We have also deepened our political relationship with two state visits in 2014 and 2015," he added. "President Xi Jinpingcame to Belgium, and the Belgian King visited China. These were very important moments but we expect more to come in the future." 

The two countries are also having more frequent and intensified exchanges in scientific research, culture, education and sports, according to the minister, including the recently-established Chinese Culture Centre in Brussels, a joint research centre in the university town of Louvain-la-Neuve, and co-training projects in football and table tennis. 

"And let's not forget the giant pandas who came to live in a Belgian zoo and recently gave birth to a baby panda," he said. 

Reynders also hailed the success of the G20 Summit which concluded earlier this month in the Chinese city of Hangzhou

"The meeting in Hangzhou showed that China played its full and entire role in the G20, a more and more political role," he said.

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