Croatia Participating at Belt and Road Forum in Beijing

By 26 April 2019

ZAGREB, April 26, 2019 - Croatia and China have turned a new page in their relations and China has recognised Croatia as a partner in Europe, Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević said in Beijing on Friday, during his talk at the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which is being held on April 25-27.

Krstičević took part in a theme debate called "People connectivity", saying that he was honoured to be representing Croatia at the forum, the Croatian Defence Ministry said in a press release.

"I would like to express my satisfaction with the fact that Croatia and China are strengthening their cooperation and strategic partnership. We have turned a new page in relations with China and I am glad that China has recognised Croatia as a partner in Europe. The new Pelješac Bridge that is being built by a Chinese company on the Croatian coast is a symbol of that cooperation," Krstičević said.

He recalled that the international forum in China was taking place after the successful China + 17 summit held in the southern Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik. Croatia recently hosted the biggest summit held as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

"The Belt and Road Initiative can follow our motto from Dubrovnik: 'We build new bridges through openness, innovation and partnership," Krstičević said, adding that on April 27, Croatia and China were marking the 27th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

The theme debate in Beijing was also attended by the deputy prime ministers of Indonesia and Uzbekistan, the foreign and economy ministers of Argentina, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, Russia, Singapore, Syria, Somalia, Grenada, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tajikistan and Bangladesh.

The Beijing forum is attended by 37 leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and the heads of state of the 10 ASEAN (Association of South-east Asian Nation) states. Delegations from 150 countries and high representatives of 90 international organisations in all are attending the event.

Chinese President Xi Jinping made the keynote address. The Belt and Road Initiative must be green and sustainable, Xi said opening the forum on Friday, adding that that major infrastructure and trade plan had to result in high quality growth for all the countries involved.

More news on relations between Croatia and China can be found in the Politics section.