(Part 4)

On 24 November 2015, the 4th Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (hereinafter referred to as “CEECs”) was held in Suzhou, China.

Participants at the meeting (hereinafter referred to as “the Participants”) commended the substantial progress that had been made in the past year in the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (hereinafter referred to as “16+1 cooperation”), in particular in the implementation of the Belgrade Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries.

Welcomed and supported the important agreement between the Chinese and EU leaders on establishing the China-EU Connectivity Platform, as well as on developing synergies between the Belt and Road initiative of China and the Investment Plan for Europe, and between 16+1 cooperation and China-EU relations.

The Participants expressed their readiness to seize these opportunities and work together to further advance 16+1 cooperation.

The Participants jointly formulated and issued, on the theme of “New Beginning, New Domains, New Vision” , the Suzhou Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries.

Among the Guidelines, in the area of ​​cooperation on connectivity, some of the important elements consist of the forthcoming meetings of the national coordinators from the countries in the 16+1 Initiative and continuing the construction and improvement of the railway network on the so-called Eurasian Land Bridge.

An overview of contracts signed between the CEEC and China, such as China-Hungary cooperation paper was made. Other key guideline is the establishment of the 16+1 Association for Transport and Infrastructure Cooperation in Serbia and the Logistics Cooperation Secretariat in Latvia.

It is also noted that direct flights will be launched by line: Beijing-Budapest and Beijing-Prague.

In regard to economic and financial cooperation the Guidelines are focusing on the organization of ministerial meetings to promote market and economic cooperation, as well as an investment and trade exhibitions. Some of the events will take place in Ningbo, China. A Center for Dialogue in energy-related projects will be established in Romania.

Cooperation in the agricultural sector provides for the conducting of forums and exhibitions, facilitating the steps to sign the quarantine protocols for the import of animal products on the Chinese market from the CEE countries.

In the field of Science, Technology and Health cooperation there are going to be conducted ministerial meetings, technological workshops and forums, as well as the establishment of a virtual China-CEEC technology transfer center.

The guidelines also include the preparation of the 2nd working meeting of the China-CEEC Association of Provincial Governors, 3rd China-CEEC Local Leaders’ Meeting and the China (Hebei) International Economic and Trade Fair 2016 and encourage and support exchanges and cooperation between mayors of Chinese and CEEC capital cities.

At the Suzhou Summit, the participants adopted The Medium-Term Agenda. It aims to improve 16+1 cooperation and further unleash its potential by setting out directions and priorities for 16+1 cooperation from 2015 to 2020.