Premier Li Keqiang visits UK, Greece to boost economic cooperation

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2014-6-22 19:31:47

              Editor’s Note

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left Beijing on the afternoon of June 16 for an official visit to Britain and Greece from June 16 to 21, accompanied by his wife Cheng Hong.

              Latest News

Chinese premier concludes fruitful Europe tour
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left for home on June 21, wrapping up a six-day trip to Britain and Greece that infused fresh vigor into China's ties and cooperation with the two countries and with Europe as a whole.

China committed to peaceful settlement of maritime disputes
China is committed to settling maritime disputes through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law, says visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.


Premier Li Keqiang in the UK
Li held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on June 17, during which the two sides signed trade deals worth over $28 billion.

Li witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation documents, and a China-Britain joint statement was issued during his stay in London.
 The Chinese premier proposed China and Britain expand two-way trade to reach a target of 100 billion dollars by 2015. 
China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) announced on June 17 that it had signed a 20-year deal with London-based oil giant BP for liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply.
The China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) and The City UK signed a memorandum of understanding in London on June 17 to set about comprehensive cooperation in promoting Sino-British economic ties.
One of the agreements sees China Construction Bank providing the UK’s first clearing service for offshore trading in RMB.
On financial cooperation, both sides welcomed the establishment of an RMB clearing bank in London.
The two sides agreed to promote cooperation on design and construction of railways, paving the way for Chinese enterprises to participate in one of Britain's largest infrastructure projects HS2 (High Speed 2), a rail project linking London and the north of England.
China and Britain welcomed cooperation on civil nuclear energy and the signing of a joint statement on civil nuclear power.
China and Britain agreed in London on June 17 to deepen their cooperation in fighting climate change.

Premier Li Keqiang in Greece
China and Greece signed 19 cooperation agreements worth some $4.8 billion. The largest deal was between China Development Bank and the Greek shipping company Costamare and was valued at $1.5 billion.

Recalling that the two sides signed a set of cooperation deals during his visit, including setting up cultural centers in each other's country, Li said China and Greece have huge potential for cooperation in politics, trade and culture.
China and Greece agreed to set 2015 as the "China-Greece Maritime Cooperation Year" and will establish a mechanism for bilateral maritime cooperation. 
The two sides agree to well operate the Piraeus Container Terminal project in an effective and win-win manner.
 The two sides encourage their citizens to travel to each other's countries and are willing to facilitate the visa application.
The Chinese premier said China plans to increase its purchase of Greek government bonds when new ones are issued later this summer.

Source: Xinhua, CNTV, Global Times


  UK (June 16-19) Greece (June 19-21)
● Li is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron as well as Queen Elizabeth II.

● Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will attend the annual China-UK summit.

● Li will also speak at China-Britain economic and financial forums, and give a speech to top British think tanks.

● The Chinese premier and his British counterpart will hold five-hour intensive talks.

● In addition to the official functions, Li and his wife will also have tete-a-tete interactions with the Camerons.
● Li will meet with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, President Karolos Papoulias, and Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Evangelos-Vasileios Meimarakis.

● Li will also attend a bilateral ocean cooperation forum and visit the wharf in the port of Piraeus, Greece's biggest port, currently operated by China's COSCO.

Key Topics

China and the UK will discuss cooperation in various fields, including nuclear power, high-speed rail, finance and high technology. Over 40 business deals, worth at least $30 billion, will be inked.

Li held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron on June 17, during which the two sides signed trade deals worth over $28 billion.

The British Home Office is working to facilitate visa applications for Chinese tourists and businessmen.

China and Greece will sign a variety of agreements covering fields such as infrastructure construction, culture exchanges and maritime resources.


UK media hype over visit unprofessional
The Chinese public has a simple attitude toward the China-UK relationship in which national interests are the decisive factor. As an important European country, a positive bilateral relationship outweighs a negative one. There is no extra sentiment involved. But to us, British society attaches much more emotion when it comes to engagement with China, such as sense of pride and national dignity. 

GT Editorial: Sino-European ties set for breakthrough
China has become increasingly mature in diplomacy via roulette clashes with the UK, France and Germany. Though it is now difficult for Beijing to reap an overwhelming victory in a specific collision with Europe, persistence has yielded a kind of deterrence. Europeans are gradually realizing that bickering with Beijing comes at a price. China-Europe ties have recorded the vicissitudes of the world and we are still in the process of changes. Today China and Europe are molding each other and the era when one side enjoyed overwhelming superiority has gone.

Xinhua: Premier Li's Europe trip to deepen win-win cooperation
Li's trip is to build upon the momentum and infuse new vigor into the China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership, which observes its 10th anniversary this year and boasts increasing strategic, reciprocal and global significance.
The upcoming visit by Premier Li to Greece will underscore the broad prospect of cooperation between the two countries, noted Cui Hongjian, director of Europe research at the China Institute of International Studies.

Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming:
The visit comes at a time of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-Britain comprehensive strategic partnership. Therefore, it will be of important significance to enhancing mutual political trust between the two countries, stepping up bilateral cooperation in such fields as economic and trade development, reform and innovation, and prompting China-Britain relations to register healthy and steady development at higher levels.

Ma Zhengang, a senior advisor to China's Foreign Ministry:
Cooperation between China and Britain has huge potential, said Ma, noting that Britain's relatively ageing infrastructure offered great opportunities for Chinese investors and exporters.

China also has considerable advantages in such sectors as nuclear power and high-speed railway thanks to the advanced technology it had developed and the competitive cost-effectiveness of its products, said Ma.

Deputy Speaker Michael Bates of Britain's Upper House:
Cultural exchange between Britain and China will become more frequent and fruitful along with steady improvement of relations between the two countries over recent years, Deputy Speaker Michael Bates of Britain's Upper House has said.

"Politics is an important part, but the more you build up the culture, the more you build up the economy, then politics will become less important, and that's a type of world that I like to live," he said.

Du Qiwen, former Chinese ambassador to Greece:
"Greece is one of China's best friends in Europe and in the European Union, which has always shown support, understanding and compassion on matters concerning China's core interests," Du said.

China, in return, has strongly backed Greece's efforts in recovering from the European debt crisis, increasing imports of Greek goods and promoting investment and tourism to the country.

During the darkest days of the crisis, China continued to voice its confidence in and support for Greece on different occasions, Du said.

Geroge Kontos, a Greek citizen and a businessman who has close ties with China:

Impressed by the potential of the Chinese market, Kontos strongly believes Greece has a lot of comparative advantages to offer to Chinese -- natural beauty, ancient history, a key geographical location, warmth and hospitality, and is optimistic about the future of the Greek real estate market.

              Previous Visits

1Chinese Premier Li Keqiang starts first foreign visit
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid official visits to four nations from May 19 to 27, 2013.

Li's visits to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany were at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Pakistani government, Swiss President Ueli Maurer and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, respectively. 
Li Keqiang starts first Southeast Asia visit
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid official visits to Brunei, Vietnam and Thailands from October 9 to 15, 2013, and attended 16th China-ASEAN leaders meeting, 16th ASEAN plus three summit, and 8th East Asia Summit.
Li Keqiang leaves Beijing for visit to Romania, Uzbekistan
Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council attended the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit in Romania, paid an official visit to Romania and attended the 12th Prime Ministers' Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States in Uzbekistan from November 25 to 29, 2013.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Africa
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang left Beijing on May 4, 2014, his trip to Africa will take him to Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya. This is the first time Li will have set foot on the continent as Premier, and also his first foreign visit this year. Ahead of the trip, Li said in an interview with African press that relations between China and Africa have entered a "golden period." Both sides have benefited from their cooperation. His entourage includes his wife Cheng Hong.

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