Co-operation between China and the CEE Countries: The Medium-Term Agenda and The Suzhou Guidelines

On 24 November 2015, the Fourth Meeting of the Heads of Government of China and the Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries was held in Suzhou in China’s Jiangsu province. In attendance at the meeting were the leaders of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Collectively, the participants in this China-Central and CEE Countries Co-operation (16+1 Co-operation) summit indicated that a Medium-Term Agenda for Co-operation between China and the CEE Countries had been formulated in accordance with the relevant guideline documents. These documents included the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Co-operation, the Press Communiqué of the Meeting between the Prime Ministers of China and the CEE Countries, China's Twelve Measures for Promoting Friendly Co-operation with the CEE Countries, the Bucharest Guidelines and the Belgrade Guidelines for Cooperation between China and the CEE Countries.

The resulting Medium-Term Agenda set out the aims and priorities for 16+1 Co-operation across the period 2015 to 2020. Based on the principle of mutual benefit and support, the 17 countries will carry out the agreed co-operation in accordance with their respective laws and regulations. EU member states are, thus, to pursue co-operation in line with the prevailing EU regulations. Overall, the 16+1 Co-operation group is committed to undertaking considerable efforts to advance the designated national and regional co-operation projects, while developing synergies with major EU initiatives and plans. It will also support the establishment of the China-EU Connectivity Platform in order to fully capitalise on the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road Initiative, while considering further opportunities for expanded co-operation in line with the overall objectives.