Beijing requested visa and customs relief for its citizens in the EU. China has requested visa facilitations for its citizens who want to visit the European Union. This was expressed during the Fourth meeting of the countries’ local leaders of the China-CEEC Cooperation Platform or 16+1. The forum was under the auspices of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Sofia.

Once again, China has made promises of investment growth in Central and Eastern European countries from $3 to $10 billion dollars. From 200,000 to 1 000 000 has increased the number of Chinese tourists in the European Union. Bulgaria as a tourist destination has also experienced a significant increase, and particularly the capital Sofia, where Chinese tourists rank by number at 13th place.

Within the forum, Chinese representatives stressed that they have an interest in a strong and united European Union and asked for enhanced cooperation with Western European Member States as well. Prime Minister Bojko Borisov has opposed the sanctions in the world.

“If we assume that the free market and competitiveness are the driving forces of a successful business and cooperation, the sanctions are exactly the spoke in the wheel that stops and changes the competitiveness of businesses and countries,” Borisov said.

The establishment of a Global Cooperation Centre in Sofia to explore European legislation and assess the risk of implementing investment projects from China to the EU, in cooperation with the countries of “16+1”, was also discussed at the meeting.

The idea of the Bulgarian President for the establishment of this centre, expressed during the meeting with Prime Minister Li Keqiang in July this year, is highly appreciated by the Chinese state leadership and the consultations on its implementation will continue, assured Cao Jianming. According to the the words of President Radev, co-operation in science and education between Bulgaria and China will also be promoted with the establishment of the centre.

“China is an important partner for Bulgaria and we greatly appreciate the history, culture and traditions of your people. They are the most important foundation on which our relations and the distinctive political dialogue at all levels are developed,” Rumen Radev stressed.

Particular attention has been paid by Beijing about the need for visa and customs relief for its citizens throughout the EU. This is related with the movement of people, the investments volume, as well as the strengthening of tourism.

China is looking for reciprocity in visa policy. Especially after Beijing has announced two new schemes for visas in order to stimulate foreigners to live in the country.

The new rules will benefit foreigners of Chinese origin, who would be able to stay in the country for 5-year period. The condition that should be met is that they are doing business in China or they are staying with their relatives.

Along with that Beijing will introduce new visas for foreigners, who want to work in China. They could be issued for specialists in fields of science, business, technology or sport. This visas will allow up to 10-year residence in China.