April 11, 2019
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is due to visit the construction site of the Peljesac Bridge, built across an Adriatic Gulf by a Chinese consortium. PHOTO: AFP
BELGRADE (DPA) – Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Croatia on Wednesday (April 10) ahead of a summit in the so-called 16+1 format under which Beijing is reaching out to 11 eastern EU member states and five Balkan countries.
Li met Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in Zagreb, and his delegation signed several bilateral cooperation and trade treaties.
One of the agreements was on cooperation between Croatia’s state bureau for digitalisation and the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
On Thursday (April 11), Li was due to visit the construction site of the Peljesac Bridge, built across an Adriatic Gulf by a Chinese consortium.
Croatian officials said that Grabar-Kitarovic was seeking Beijing’s support for the Three Seas Initiative grouping 12 countries on the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea.
The initiative complements China’s Belt and Road initiative, launched by Beijing to open Asia and Europe to Chinese goods and investment, Croatian state broadcaster HRT reported.
On Friday, Li and his delegation are set to meet leaders from the 16 countries in the Adriatic resort of Dubrovnik.
The 16+1 summit is the eighth since the format was inaugurated in Warsaw in 2012.
The platform focuses on projects from the Belt and Road initiative.