China has an Interest in Building the Belene NPP, a Highway and a Railway Line to the Aegean Sea
China has the desire to invest and participate in the construction of a railway linking Bulgaria with the Aegean Sea, the North-South Highway and the Belene NPP. This was understood after the meeting of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the chairman of the State Council of China Li Keqiang. He is on a four-day visit to Bulgaria, during which a meeting with the leaders of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe will be held in the form "16 + 1".
We believe it is most important to follow EU market rules and laws, Li said. So far, the EU's rules on transparency in EU procurement have been seen to contradict China's way of doing business. "Public procurement will be carried out and non-state projects will be guaranteed by the state," Li said. He wanted to emphasize that 16 + 1 is not a political platform and does not separate the EU, it will even help to integrate into the union the countries of the initiative, some of which are not members. "We understand that the EU is an important force for global prosperity and peace." The EU supports democracy in international relations, and without Europe on the global stage there will be no global development, Li said.
So far we have been researching
"The truth is we have been researching up to this moment," said Boyko Borisov in response to a question as to why China's investments in Bulgaria are much less compared to other European countries. "China works in one way, the EU in another. The key thing is that projects must be made according to European rules, transparent," added Borisov. "I was puzzled that the first highway in China is paid, and they do not have a free highway," Borisov said. Therefore, the future toll system introduced by Bulgaria could allow the construction of motorways not in the European corridors on a market principle, Borisov said (the project he is talking about envisages connecting Ruse with Svilengrad via a high-speed road tunnel under Shipka, b.a.).
In regards to Belene NPP, Borisov said China could use its links with other European countries in nuclear power projects. For this project, as well as for other joint projects, consortia and third parties can also be set up.
Borisov "hired" Li Keqiang as an advertising agent
Borisov showed Li Keqiang and his wife the National Historical Museum. "I saw the surprise of the Prime Minister and his wife of gold which 7000 years old. I hired him as an advertising agent of the Bulgarian cultural and historical heritage," said Borisov. "Please tell the Chinese people about the 7,000-year-old processed gold, how exquisite it is, how beautiful it is, show the pictures," Li Keqiang told Chinese journalists. "Even if only that is achieved the visit would be worth it," added Borisov. "And I very much want more Bulgarians to travel to China," Li Keqiang said.
During the visit of the Chinese prime minister to Bulgaria, dozens of joint agreements and memoranda were signed. The largest amount is a financial agreement for 1.5 billion euros between the Bulgarian Development Bank and the Chinese Development Bank, followed by an agreement between Bulgarian Maritime Fleet and a Chinese bank for $ 94.15 million for the construction of six bulk carriers .
Li Keqiang is the first Chinese prime minister to come to Bulgaria since 2000, and his delegation consists of nearly 700 people.
For four days in Sofia Li will meet with the Bulgarian leaders and then with the leaders of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in the form "16 + 1". In the afternoon, President Rumen Radev will also welcome Li.
Last year, according to Beijing's Ambassador to Sofia, Zhang Haizhou, trade between Bulgaria and China was $ 2.13 billion (65% growth), with exports of $ 960 million and imports of 1.17 billion dollars.
Source: Dnevnik, Georgi A. Angelov
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