Leaders of Belarus, China discuss political cooperation, trade, vaccine in phone conversation
29 January 2021
MINSK - Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko had a telephone conversation with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian leader.
The heads of state exchanged congratulations on the occasion of the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and China (this topic was the leitmotif of today's conversation), and discussed in detail various areas of cooperation.
Aleksandr Lukashenko and Xi Jinping lauded the high level of Belarusian-Chinese political relations, which have been successfully developing in the format of a trust-based comprehensive strategic partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation. Given the high level of cooperation, the parties are prepared to further increase the level of cooperation and are working on the text of a relevant declaration.
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the president of the People's Republic of China for supporting Belarus in the international arena. In this context the Chinese leader noted that only the people can decide on and determine the future of their country. In general, the strategic partners Belarus and China will jointly confront external threats. Belarus will also continue to support China on all key issues.
Much of the conversation focused on the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. The parties exchanged the information on measures taken to counter the spread of infection. As the Chinese leader noted, there is no reason to let the guard down yet. This is why, in accordance with the agreements, Belarus and China will continue to be as open and prepared to cooperate on this front as possible. The People's Republic of China also confirmed its readiness to supply the COVID-19 vaccine to Belarus in the necessary amounts.
The Belarusian president and the president of the People's Republic of China welcomed the growth of bilateral trade as an undeniably positive fact. They were pleased to note that business activity has not declined in the difficult conditions of the pandemic. Shipments of Belarusian agricultural products to the Chinese market was cited as a case in point. Food and timber products remain the key points of growth. Belarus is working to expand the range of products to supply to China in 2021-2022. The two countries set up a team of experts to facilitate trade and promote export.
Belarus has suggested a list of products bound for export to China. It includes 88 products of agriculture, mechanical engineering and chemical industries.
The heads of state also discussed ways to boost export of Belarusian potash fertilizers to China. The Belarusian party has already suggested this, and the Chinese partners are ready to look into this matter.
During the phone conversation, Aleksandr Lukashenko and Xi Jinping also considered cooperation with Chinese financial institutions in the implementation of several large-scale infrastructure and investment projects.
The presidents focused on ways to boost the development and tap into the potential of the Great Stone industrial park, which is the key element of Belarus' participation in the Belt and Road initiative. Aleksandr Lukashenko assured Xi Jinping that Belarus will remain an active participant in the initiative. It is strategically important to step up the cooperation in the Great Stone industrial park and expand the presence of China's major companies and banks in Belarus.
The parties also suggested declaring the Year of Regions of Belarus and China in 2021-2023 to give an impetus to interregional cooperation.
Aleksandr Lukashenko and Xi Jinping also discussed the next face-to-face meeting. They agreed to meet in person to discuss the current agenda as soon as the pandemic subsides. Until then, the intergovernmental commission of the two countries shall oversee the cooperation in general, especially the aspects in focus of this phone conversation, and keep the heads of state informed about these matters.