- Published: 27.05.2021.
Plenković receives Yang: Croatia continuing to strengthen ties with China
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Thursday received Yang Jiechi, director of China's Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office, for talks on the strengthening of Croatian-China ties and economic cooperation, the government said in a press release.
Plenković said the global pandemic had shown the importance of good governance and multilateral cooperation. He thanked the Chinese authorities for the cooperation in regular deliveries of protective medical equipment during the pandemic and for the willingness to continue to cooperate in fighting against coronavirus.
This was the first live meeting between Croatian and Chinese delegations during the pandemic.
Plenković recalled the Dubrovnik Summit and Prime Minister Li Keqiang's visit in 2019, saying the framework for China's cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe had valuable potential as a unique initiative building bridges between Europe and Asia, and that it was complementary to EU-China relations.
Yang said China too supported the continuation of the cooperation with CEE countries based on market principles in order to create mutually beneficial projects.
Plenković and Yang said they were pleased with the continuation of big projects in Croatia, such as the Pelješac Bridge and other investments, from the construction of the transport infrastructure to investment in renewables.
Plenković said he would like President Xi Jinping to visit Croatia next year, on the 30th anniversary of Croatia-China diplomatic relations, and see the Pelješac Bridge, which will be built by then.
Croatia-China trade in 2020 was $1.39 billion. Intensive work is under way to establish direct Beijing-Zagreb flights and on the arrival of Chinese tourists, given that almost 500,000 visited Croatia in 2019.
Yang said China was open for Croatian products and that he wished for trade to continue to increase.
The two officials also talked about cooperation in culture and sports. Plenković wished China "lots of success" in organising the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Also present at the talks were Croatia's Transport, Sea and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković, Economy Minister Tomislav Ćorić, Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac, and Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek.