[MFA Press Office – 30 October 2019]
“Poland remains an active and constructive member of the 17+1 cooperation format, which complements bilateral relations and is an element of wide-ranging EU-China relations,” stressed Deputy Minister Maciej Lang during a Beijing-based meeting of National Coordinators representing China and 17 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Deputy Minister Lang highlighted the open nature of the 17+1 format, which has been expanded this year to include Greece. He pointed out that this cooperation is based on respect for the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination, as well as a synergic cooperation of all participants. Undersecretary of State Maciej Lang also expressed his hope that the Chinese market will open up more to Central and Eastern Europe goods.
The coordination meeting also discussed the formula and documents of the next 17+1 summit that is due to take place in Beijing in spring 2020. Deputy Minister Lang stressed that the summit should be an opportunity to review dialogue mechanisms and pursue new areas of cooperation. The participants agreed to have the 17+1 Midterm Cooperation Agenda for 2020-2025 adopted during the meeting of 17+1 leaders in 2020.
This format of Central and Eastern Europe-China cooperation was established in Warsaw in 2012 and it includes several dozens of regular sectoral dialogues. The most important political meetings are annual summits of 17+1 leaders – the last summit took place in Dubrovnik on 12 April 2019 and was attended by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
The day before the meeting of National Coordinators, Deputy Minister Lang held bilateral talks with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Qin Gang and Vice Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Qian Hongshan. The aim of the meetings was to discuss the implementation of decisions of the Poland-China Intergovernmental Committee which was held in Warsaw in July 2019, and to establish an agenda of the most important high-level bilateral meetings in 2020. Deputy Minister Lang also presented proposals concerning Polish-Chinese economic cooperation, in particular to increase the presence of Polish goods in the Chinese market.