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Xi meets Armenian president as major deals signed

Updated: 2015-03-25 20:05
By ZHAO SHENGNAN (chinadaily.com.cn)

China and Armenia issued a joint declaration on strengthening ties and signed 10 agreements on Wednesday shortly after the two countries' presidents met in Beijing.

The wide-ranging agreements included preferential loans extended by China to Armenia, a memorandum on cooperation in China's Silk Road proposals and greater cooperation in education and tourism.

Both countries should tap the potential in economic and trade cooperation, President Xi Jinping told Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan at the Great Hall of the People.

The Chinese government encourages the nation's enterprises to participate in Armenia's development of the transportation, mining and infrastructure sectors, Xi said.

Calling China a priority of Armenia's diplomacy, Sargsyan said his nation hopes China will bring Armenia's key infrastructural projects, such as roads and railways, into the framework of China's Silk Roads initiatives.

Xi said China would like to explore greater cooperation under the framework by utilizing its advantages in technology and equipment.

In 2013, Xi raised the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, mega networks that will connect China with Europe via a host of Asian economies.

Trade between China and the mountainous country in the South Caucasus region reached $195 million in 2013, up 32.5 percent than the previous year, according to Chinese official statistics.

This was the first state visit by Sargsyan to China. He will attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015, which is scheduled to be held from Thursday to Sunday in Hainan province.

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