BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday, calling on Spain to participate in the construction and operation of a cargo railway linking east China and Europe.
The cargo railway "Yixin'ou" plans to start from east China's Yiwu, the world's largest wholesale market, and ends in Madrid, Xi told Rajoy in a meeting at the Great Hall of the People.
"We welcome Spain to actively participate in the construction and operation of the railway in the hope of lifting bilateral economic and trade cooperation level," Xi said.
"Yixin'ou" cargo railway linking Yiwu and five central Asian countries started operation in January.
The train travels 4,600 kilometers from Yiwu, passes through Alataw Pass in far west China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and arrives in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan. The line then branches off to reach cities in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
On the political front, Xi said the two countries enjoy a sound and solid based relationship. Spain is one of the first EU countries to establish comprehensive strategic partnership with China, said Xi. "We appreciate Spain's foresight on developing ties with China."
Noting that the year 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-Spain comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said the two countries need to enhance exchange and cooperation between governments, parliaments, political parties and local regions.
Both sides need to strengthen mutual understanding, explore potential and step up tangible cooperation, he said.
Rajoy said the Spanish government has always adhered to a friendly policy towards China.
Spain appreciated China's firm support and assistance amid the European debt crisis, said Rajoy. "Facts have proven that China is a good friend of Spain. Spain values the friendship and the mutual trust very much."
The two countries are facing great opportunities to develop bilateral ties, he said, adding that he hopes to enhance bilateral political ties, promote cooperation in areas including economic and trade, investment, energy, railway, telecommunication and finance, expand Spanish export of agricultural products to China, as well as boost cultural and people-to-people exchanges during his current visit.
Xi also called on the two countries, both with ancient civilizations, to increase cultural, people-to-people, tourism and sports exchanges so as to learn from each other and deepen friendship.
Calling Spain "a good friend and an important partner" of China in the European Union, Xi said China is willing to work with Spain to promote the development of China-EU relationship.
China supports Spain's active role in international and regional affairs, said the president, adding that China would like to maintain communication and coordination with Spain.
Rajoy said Spain will continue to push forward the healthy development of EU-China relations, and work with China on the UN and climate change issues.
He also expressed once again condolences for the 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Ludian in southwest China's Yunnan province on Aug. 3, which killed more than 600 people and destroyed 80,000 homes, adding that Spain is willing to continue to provide assistance to China. Xi appreciated Spain's kindness.
Rajoy will conclude his four-day official visit on Saturday.