Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

China to keep on reform, market opening path

China to keep on reform, market opening path

"The key questions during that time are what will happen to financial markets, how will USA voters react and will China's economy start to wobble", Prof Kennedy said.

Borissov, who will host the seventh "16+1" summit in Sofia on July 6-7, echoed the sentiment, saying that the initiative was "not in opposition to anyone in Europe".

Observers said that as China is actively opening up its economy to the world, China and Europe have more common ground to enhance cooperation and promote free and open trade. "It needs to be transparent".

Although the USA trade war with China wasn't initially on the agenda, it was an unavoidable topic for the host country and its Chinese visitor.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pose for a picture during the 7th Summit of Heads of Government of CEEC and China in Sofia, Bulgaria, July 7, 2018.

US President Donald Trump's offensive has led to a major shift in China's attitude towards Europe and the Asian giant is now "sweet-talking to the EU" on trade matters, Godement said.

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He is holding bilateral meetings in Sofia with all the leaders of the eastern countries.

"The meetings have prompted considerable speculation in Brussels and other European capitals that they are a Chinese effort to "divide and rule" Europeans", a December 2017 report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) said.

China has promised billions of dollars for development projects in the region as part of its Belt and Road strategy to carve out new export markets.

In September 2017, Bulgaria signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece on the development of a high-speed railway corridor linking major Greek Aegean ports with Bulgarian ports on the Danube river and the Black Sea coast. More than 250 Chinese companies and 700 business people from central and eastern Europe are expected to attend an economic forum alongside the summit, seeking deals in trade, technology, infrastructure, agriculture and tourism. "It gives more opportunities to those who joined the European Union later to catch up faster".

China has confirmed it is willing to back Bulgaria's Belene nuclear power project and last month Hungary finalised the construction timetable with Beijing for a Budapest-Belgrade rail link.

Friday's long-expected tariff volley fuelled fear that a prolonged and escalating battle would deal a blow to global trade, investment and growth, while also damaging US farmers who stand to lose revenues and potentially driving up food prices in China. Countries taking part include European Union members Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, and also non-EU states Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

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