Editor's Note: The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in Beijing on April 25-27.
Ahead of the forum, China Daily website has launched a series of talks with ambassadors of countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. In the fifth episode, we talk with Dario Mihelin,Croatian Ambassador to China.
Having served for only three months as Croatian ambassador to China, Dario Mihelin is not new at all in China and affairs related to China.
Actually he and his country are keen to continue their involvement here.
In the run-up to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation which will open on Thursday, the former presidential policy adviser, who accompanied President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on her state visit to China in 2015 and attended the first edition of the forum as the president's special envoy two years ago, said the country is sending an even bigger delegation and eyeing more documents to be signed at this year's forum.
Led by Deputy Prime Minister Damir Krstičević this year, Croatia is preparing cooperation on the digital Silk Road and initiating entry into the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) at the forum or thereafter to set more cooperation models of China and the Central Eastern European countries (CEECs) and China and the EU.
Mihelin said his country, at the crossroads of central and southeastern Europe on the Adriatic Sea, embraces the great opportunity the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers to it and other CEEC members as there are "complementaries" between the two cross-regional cooperative frameworks of the BRI and China-CEEC "16+1 cooperation". He cited models of cooperation under the two mechanisms.
Greece was accepted as a new member to the former 16+1 China-CEEC cooperation platform at the eighth meeting of the bloc in Dubrovnik, Croatia earlier in April. All 17 participants of the platform have joined the BRI cooperation.
"It (BRI) is boosting bilateral relations and the overall development of these countries," the ambassador said, citing the ongoing construction of the Peljesac Bridge in southern Croatia.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid a visit to the site, accompanied by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, as part of Li's official visit to the country after the China-CEEC meeting.