China hosts Central, East European trade fair

China is hosting a trade fair with companies from Central and Eastern Europe as part of efforts to keep these regions involved in economic cooperation.

The China-Central and Eastern European Countries Expo opened on Tuesday in Ningbo in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

Items exhibited at the four-day fair include wine from Serbia and glassware from the Czech Republic.

A "live commerce" booth has been set up to livestream products for sale.

China has created an economic cooperation framework with 17 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and deepened ties with them through its "Belt and Road" initiative.

But some members are disappointed at the slow progress in China-funded infrastructure projects.

Lithuania announced last month that it will pull out of the framework.

Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua attended the fair's opening ceremony and stressed that Beijing will import more agricultural and other products from the regions.

Hu also suggested China will boost cooperation with them in the development and production of coronavirus vaccines.