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极速打码网址:China-Europe partnership benefits all | Updated: 2018-07-05 06:58
Song Chen/China Daily

极速快乐8群 Editor's note: In the run-up to the Seventh Leaders' Meeting of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Sofia, Bulgaria, eight scholars share their views with China Daily on the role of the 16+1(16 CEE countries plus China) framework and Belt and Road Initiative, and regional geopolitics amid rising protectionism. Excerpts follow:

Bulgaria can benefit from Belt and Road

Evgeniy Kandilarov, an associate professor at the Centre for Eastern Languages and Cultures, Sofia University "St Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria [Photo/China Daily]

Central and Eastern European countries play a very important role in the Belt and Road Initiative and China's trade with Europe. The inclusion of the "16+1 cooperation" mechanism in the Belt and Road Initiative as a framework of different mechanisms and arrangements between China and the 16 CEE countries is one of the most important and promising elements for the CEE countries.

The 16 CEE countries see China as a relevant market and a valuable source of investment, at least at the declarative level. The differences across the region are significant in many areas, including the economic development level, per capita income and institutional framework. And Brussels is concerned about reciprocity and access to the Chinese market for European companies.

Although the Bulgarian government has announced many times that it is motivated to support and actively participate in the initiative for cooperation between China and the CEE countries, and considers it an important platform for expanding bilateral ties as well as an effective addition to EU-China relations, Bulgarian political actions and positions have been quite different and inconsistent. But Bulgaria should be considered a bridge between Europe and Asia with a number of geopolitical and geo-economic advantages.

For Bulgaria, the Belt and Road Initiative is a strategic opportunity to be part of a newly emerging market. If Bulgaria really wants to be part of this project in the Balkan region, it has to compete with its neighbors, and make concerted efforts and negotiate with China by making clear its strategic interests and future plans.

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