Chinese Premier pushes to further ’16+1′ cooperation

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Chinese premier pushes to further '16+1' cooperation

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is pledging to further advance trade and bilateral cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe as he addressed the 16+1 Summit in Latvia.

CCTV America’s Guy Henderson reports.
Follow Guy Henderson on Twitter @guyhendersonde

Chinese Premier pushes to further '16+1' cooperation

Chinese Premier pushes to further '16+1' cooperation

Chinese premier Li Keqiang is pledging to further advance trade and bilateral cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe as he addressed the 16+1 Summit in Latvia. CCTV America's Guy Henderson reports.

A pilot freight train, all the way from China and via Russia, has arrived in Latvia, just in time for the start of the 16+1 summit. It signifies the end of a very long journey, and maybe just the first of many more to come, Because Chinese and Latvian officials see this as a statement of economic intent.

Leaders at the summit want to better connect with their Asian partners, mainly through its One Belt One Road initiative- a plan to develop a land and sea trade route to Europe. Chinese premier Li Kiqiang said European countries not on the invite list shouldn’t be concerned.

A number of major deals were given the go-ahead, including a plan to build a high speed rail line between Serbia and Hungary as well as several visa liberalization programs.

And perhaps there could have been even more. Premier Li told fellow leaders at the summit that there was still a bottleneck when it came to funding for some projects in this region, which is why an agreement is also being signed off here to create a 16+1 investment fund to support future initiatives. But all agree that money must align with the European Union’s own development priorities.

As the crisis-ridden continent attempts to hold itself together, those in Latvia believe summits like this can help.


Fred Teng on China’s growing role in Central and Eastern Europe

For more on China’s growing role in Central and Eastern Europe, CCTV America’s Susan Roberts spoke to Fred Teng. He is the President of the America China Public Affairs Institute.