Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the Chairman of the State Council of China Li Keqiang agreed that cooperation under the "16 + 1" initiative will contribute to a united and prosperous Europe. At a joint press conference after the summit in Sofia, Li Keqiang said the suspicion for division of Europe is wrong. "After the talks with Prime Minister Borissov I would like to say - there is no conflict between the strategic interests of China and the EU. We are seeking ways to be united. We perceive and want a Europe that is united and prosperous," highlighted the Chairman of the State Council of China. According to him, the format is extremely useful because it complements other forms of cooperation and the interactions between the countries in this initiative contribute to European unity. Li Keqiang also announced that future business relations will be in line with EU rules and regulations.
"I applaud the statement of the Chairman of the State Council of China that he is in favor of a united and strong Europe, of observing the rules and good practices," said Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. In this context, he highlighted the importance of establishing a Global Partnership Center of Central and Eastern European Countries and China that will provide assistance and seek solutions for joint projects.
The Chairman of the State Council of China said that his country will open its agricultural market more for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and mentioned as an example a specific agreement between the Bulgarian and Chinese governments. "We agreed on an import of ten thousand tons of tobacco leaves. We can offer a new method of processing of these leaves, we will be glad to meet these needs," Li Keqiang explained. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov underlined Bulgaria's readiness for close partnership in this sector.
"I thank Prime Minister Boyko Borissov for the excellent organization of the '16 + 1' meeting. This is an additional incentive for our cooperation," said Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, who will host the forum in 2019. He highlighted that the initiative between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe does not divide but allows for unification through projects. Plenkovic provided the example of an infrastructure project in Croatia, which is implemented by a Chinese company and facilitates conectivity in the region.