Senior CPC official visits Albania to reconfirm growing Albania-China cooperation

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 14, 2018 15:41

Senior CPC official visits Albania to reconfirm growing Albania-China cooperation

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  • The Chinese government and people will never forget Albania's great help to the People's Republic of China at the UN as well as the strong friendship between the countries, Shen Beili, a deputy minister of the International Department of the CPP Central Committee, said in a meeting with Albania's Parliament Speaker Gramoz Ruçi.

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TIRANA, June 14 – A senior delegation of the Communist Party of China, CPC, visited Albania this week, reconfirming constantly increasing cooperation between the two countries in the past few years, especially in investment and trade ties.

CPC senior official Shen Beili hailed the long-standing friendship between China and Albania and the Balkan country’s support to China’s ‘16+1’ framework expanding cooperation with 11 EU member states and five Balkan countries in Central and Eastern Europe as well as its ‘Belt and Road’ initiative which envisions a new Silk Road of land and sea routes with trading partners.

The Chinese government and people will never forget Albania’s great help to the People’s Republic of China at the UN as well as the strong friendship between the countries, Shen Beili, a deputy minister of the International Department of the CPP Central Committee, said in a meeting with Albania’s Parliament Speaker Gramoz Ruçi.

The Albania Chinese relations date back to the late 1940s when Albania was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China and the tiny Balkan country helped the Asian superpower regain its seat at the UN as the PRC in the early 1970s.

Chinese experts helped rebuild much of the Albania’s main industries in the 1960-70s, giving rise to an unequal alliance.

“China-Albania friendship has been long-standing. People of our two countries cherish profound goodwill towards each other. We are gratified to see that divergent as their political platforms may be, various political parties in Albania share a high degree of consensus on developing relations with China and promoting cooperation in various fields between our two countries. This truly demonstrates the significance of the traditional China-Albania friendship in the new era,” Shen Beili was quoted as saying in an interview with local Albanian media as published on the embassy’s website.

Responding to Albania’s Parliament Speaker’s request on China’s prospects of recognizing Kosovo as bringing peace to the Western Balkan region, the senior CPC official said ‘Kosovo and Serbia should boost bilateral dialogue in order to reach an acceptable solution and gain the support of international partners,’ as quoted in a statement by the Parliament’s press office.

An overwhelming ethnic Albanian country that declared its independence from Serbia a decade ago, Kosovo has been recognized by 110 countries, but not yet by five EU members as well as China and Russia.

Beijing itself considers Taiwan to be a breakaway Chinese province to eventually be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Parliament Speaker Gramoz Ruçi said Albania considers both the ‘16+1’ and the ‘Belt and Road’ initiatives as important platforms on economic, social and cultural cooperation that strengthens Albania’s relations with China and encourages dialogue and integration between the two civilizations.

“Albania is interested in Chinese assistance in agriculture and water management hopeful of exporting some of its products to China,” said Ruçi.

Albania’s current exports to China are overwhelmingly dominated by chromium.

Chinese companies have acquired two of Albania’s key assets in the past couple of years and now run the country’s sole international airport and Albania’s largest oil producer, both of which under concession contracts signed with the Albanian government by previous investors.

The visit by the CPC delegation comes after the April 2017 visit to Albania by then China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, who led the highest level Chinese government delegation to Albania in five decades.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 14, 2018 15:41