President Xi Jinping welcomed foreign leaders on Tuesday who are in China to attend the Summer Davos Forum, and he called for greater joint efforts in constructing the Belt and Road to better benefit their people.
Xi met separately with the presidents of Serbia, Estonia and Latvia as well as Samoa's prime minister at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, a day before the opening ceremony of the forum to be held in Tianjin.
When meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Xi said China and Serbia should jointly build the Belt and Road, strengthen synergy of their development strategies and deepen bilateral cooperation.
The traditional friendship between China and Serbia is well-grounded, he said, and both sides share a high level of political mutual trust and enjoy fruitful results in pragmatic cooperation.
Xi said he is pleased to know that China's Hebei Iron and Steel Group and the Smederevo steel mill in Serbia are maintaining good cooperation. The Smederevo mill is the second-largest exporting enterprise in the Balkan country.
The mill was purchased by Hebei Iron and Steel Group for $51.8 million in 2016.
Vucic, for his part, said the revival of the Smederevo steel mill strongly demonstrates that the Belt and Road Initiative means more jobs and economic growth for Serbia.
His country will actively participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road and explore new cooperation with China under the framework of China-Central and Eastern Europe cooperation, he said.
When meeting with his Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid, Xi called for China and Estonia to promote the synergy of the BRI with the Baltic country's development strategy.
All countries, regardless of size, are equal members of the international community, Xi said.
China is willing to promote greater development of bilateral ties with Estonia on the basis of mutual respect on an equal footing, Xi added.
He also said China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Europe, maintain multilateralism, fight against unilateralism and jointly build an open world economy.
Kaljulaid, who is making her first visit to China, said her country is willing to maintain close communication and coordination with China on multilateral issues, and jointly safeguard international rules and order.
When meeting with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis, Xi called on China and Latvia to enhance cooperation in areas including transportation, logistics and infrastructure to boost interconnectivity between Asia and Europe.
According to Xi, China-Central and Eastern Europe cooperation is an important part of the relationship between China and Europe.
It is also an important platform for the BRI to integrate into the European economic sphere, he said.
Latvia was the first Baltic nation to sign a cooperative document with China over jointly building the BRI.
Vejonis said his country speaks highly of the BRI.
The Latvia president called for the two countries to promote their cooperation in areas including trade and economy, investment, transportation, logistics and tourism.
During a meeting with Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Xi said China will continue to support the country's efforts to develop its economy and improve people's livelihoods.
Also, China will safeguard the just interests of South Pacific countries in international and regional affairs, Xi added.
Xi said he appreciates the prime minister's contribution to developing bilateral relations.
He said that China treasures its traditional friendship with Samoa and praises the country for firmly adhering to the one-China principle.
China is willing to seize the opportunity of jointly building the BRI with Samoa, and will expand pragmatic cooperation in various areas, Xi added.
The Samoan prime minister expressed his country's support for the BRI.
He said Samoa is willing to expand bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade, investment and tourism within the framework of the BRI.