Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan hosted a banquet yesterday evening in Shanghai to welcome distinguished guests from around the world, who will attend the first China International Import Expo opening today.
Xi and Peng took group photos with foreign leaders and their spouses.
On behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, Xi extended a warm welcome to foreign leaders and other guests.
Shanghai is the largest economic center of China and is at the frontier of China’s reform and opening-up. It has witnessed the historical course of China’s opening-up and cooperation since modern times and has written a splendid chapter of China’s 40 years of reform and opening-up, Xi said.
The CIIE is hosted by China but for the world, Xi said, stressing that it is not an ordinary expo, but a major policy for China to push for a new round of high-level opening-up and a major measure for China to take the initiative to open its market to the world.
The CIIE will make Shanghai a more shining city, he said.
In the next six days, 172 countries, regions and international organizations from the five continents will showcase their development achievements and international image to the world, he said.
More than 3,600 companies from different countries will hold discussions and seek common development with purchasers from China and overseas.
Guests will also exchange views on major issues concerning international economy and trade and global economic governance, Xi said. This will be a grand event with great expectations, set to create fruitful results for friends from various countries, he said.
“I believe that, with strong supports and joint efforts of all sides, the CIIE will surely become a high-level international expo which will provide a new platform for deepening international economic and trade cooperation, advancing the joint development of the Belt and Road, and promoting economic globalization, and make greater contribution to boosting the well-being of all people and building a community with a shared future for humanity,” Xi said.
Guests from various countries wished the CIIE a success.
The Chinese president also met some leaders separately.
In his meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Xi recalled their previous meeting at the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September and the consensus reached. He called on both sides to push for new progress in deepening the comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership while implementing the outcome of the summit and the Belt and Road Initiative.
China and Kenya should maintain high-level exchanges, expand cooperation in all areas, and continue to support each other on issues involving respective core interests and major concerns, said Xi.
He welcomed Kenyatta to the expo and said China is ready to help increase the added value and competitiveness of Kenyan products and expand imports from Kenya.
Xi also met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc yesterday.
Xi said this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries. As China’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, Vietnam will participate in the CIIE as a guest of honor, Xi said, stressing that China will import more Vietnam products that are marketable in the Chinese market.
Xi said both sides should work together to maintain maritime peace and stability, and advance maritime cooperation.
Xi also welcomed Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith to the expo and said the China-Laos relationship is at its best in history.
The two countries should carry out closer strategic communication and enhance exchanges on party and state governance experiences, Xi said.
He said the two sides need to promote the optimizing and upgrading of practical cooperations and advance the construction of the China-Laos economic corridor.
He called for efforts to ensure the smooth progress in the building of the China-Laos railway, strengthen cooperation in fields regarding people’s livelihoods and disaster relief, and hold a well-organized China-Laos year of tourism in 2019.