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UPDATED: February 1, 2009
China, Spain Agree to Boost Economic, Cultural Links
Relations between China and Spain are at their best with frequent high-level exchanges

China and Spain agreed Friday to forge closer economic ties to mitigate the impact of the financial crisis and vowed to enhance cultural exchanges for better understanding of each other.

Relations between China and Spain are at their best with frequent high-level exchanges and close cooperation in a wide range of fields since the two countries set up a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2005, said a joint statement issued during a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Spain.

Wen, who arrived here Friday for a two-day visit, met with King Juan Carlos and held talks with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on bilateral ties, China-European Union relations, the international financial crisis and other issues of common concern.

The two countries agreed to consolidate the political foundation of bilateral ties, strengthen economic relations, promote cultural exchanges and expand cooperation in international organizations.

The current global financial crisis has had a big impact and, as two major economies, China and Spain will work more closely together in addressing the challenges brought about by the crisis, the document said.

The Chinese and Spanish governments will encourage the businesses of the two nations to build closer ties and explore new areas and models of cooperation, the document said.

China and Spain will take measures to boost trade and optimize the trade structure, and will work to scale up mutual investment, particularly in infrastructure building, renewable energy, environmental protection and tourism.

The two countries will encourage airline companies to launch more direct flights so as to promote tourism and economic exchanges, it added.

In cultural areas, China and Spain have decided to organize reciprocal events of cultural exchanges. China will support the Spanish language education and other programs of the Spanish cultural center in Beijing, and will soon open a Chinese cultural center in Spain, the statement said.

The research and academic institutions and media organizations of the two countries will also enhance exchanges, it said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2009)

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