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Polish president to talk business, security on China visit

22.06.2024 13:00
Polish President Andrzej Duda is set to begin a visit to China on Saturday during which he plans to hold business and security talks with officials including Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Polands President Andrzej Duda speaks to reporters at Warsaws Okęcie military airport on Friday, June 21, 2024.
Poland's President Andrzej Duda speaks to reporters at Warsaw's Okęcie military airport on Friday, June 21, 2024.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Speaking to reporters before the trip, Duda said that his visit would focus on "business and security issues," including "a wider opening of the Chinese market to Polish meat products" and boosting Chinese investment in Poland.

Duda told reporters that he was aiming to "present Poland's perspective on the situation in its region" during talks with Chinese officials.

"We want to secure a wider opening of the Chinese market, primarily when it comes to our agricultural products," Duda said.

"We will sign several agreements, but the main priority is ongoing efforts which, I hope, will be successful—to open the Chinese market to Polish poultry," he added.

He told the media that he was also hoping the Chinese market would open to Polish beef in the future.

Duda announced that his talks with Xi would touch on a combination of political and business issues, including prospects for increasing Chinese investment in Poland.

"The political component of the talks will be very important," Duda said. "We have a war ongoing in Ukraine, and we also have a hybrid attack by Belarus on the Polish border, where the Belarusian authorities have been pushing migrants into our country for three years now, forcing them to try to cross the border illegally," he added.

Possible business tie-ups between Poland and China include the Belt and Road Initiative, a plan by the authorities in Beijing to develop land transport routes for the delivery of Chinese goods to Europe, as well as for the exportation of goods from Europe to China, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

"There are two basic elements of this route: a railway line that runs through Ukraine and another rail line that runs through Belarus," Duda said.

He added that "transportation along the route running through Ukraine has obviously been disrupted" by Russia's ongoing invasion of the country and "deliveries are very difficult, if not impossible."

Meanwhile, "the route that runs through Belarus is subject to restrictions resulting from the hybrid attack carried out by the Belarusian authorities on the Polish border," Duda said.

He announced that these challenges would be one of the topics of his talks with Xi.

"I would like to outline this situation to the chairman and tell him what the realities are," Duda said, noting that China and Belarus "have had friendly relations" for decades.

The Polish president added: "Similarly, I will brief him on the overall security situation in our region. I think this visit is of great importance for security. We all know that China is a superpower. We know that it has friendly relations not only with Belarus, but also Russia. Moscow is the aggressor in Ukraine and I will certainly want to talk to President Xi Jinping about it."

He also announced a plan to discuss the prospects of how Russia's war in Ukraine could end.

"It is no secret that China's influence, including its influence on Russia, is enormous," Duda told reporters. "It is crucial for us to present our view to President Xi Jinping."

During his five-day visit to China, the Polish president will also meet with Prime Minister Li Qiang, attend business forums in the port cities of Dalian and Shanghai, and hand out state awards at the Polish embassy in Beijing, the PAP news agency reported.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian said ahead of Duda's visit that the Polish leader's talks with Xi would help map out the future trajectory of bilateral relations.

Duda and Xi are expected to have "an in-depth exchange of views on issues of common concern" and attend the signing of various cooperation documents, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Poland and China, officials have noted.

Prezydent Andrzej Duda Polish President Andrzej Duda. PAP/Paweł Supernak

According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Beijing is hoping that Duda's visit will be an opportunity to deepen bilateral political ties, expand collaborative endeavors in various areas, and enhance cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and China's cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries.

'Very important visit': Polish FM

Outlining the key directions of Poland's diplomacy in 2024 in an exclusive interview with Radio Poland's Danuta Isler, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski emphasized the importance of Duda's trip.

"As regards China the president is going there and he will be accompanied by one of my deputies," Sikorski said.

"The Cabinet has agreed a position on this very important visit and there are some indications that the visit might bear fruit both in the political and economic sphere," Sikorski added.

Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski. Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski. Photo: Piotr Pogorzelski/Polish Radio
Poland's President Andrzej Duda (right), Prime Minister Donald Tusk (centre), and Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski (left). Poland's President Andrzej Duda (right), Prime Minister Donald Tusk (centre), and Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski (left). Photo: Tom Brenner/UPI Photo via Newscom/PAP


Source: IAR, PAP