Li to attend economic talks in 3-nation visit

By Chen Heying Source:Global Times Published: 2014-12-12 0:48:31

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will visit Kazakhstan, Serbia and then Thailand between December 14 and 20, China's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Analysts said the trip will focus on furthering cooperation, especially focusing on the development of infrastructure, in an effort to further the "One Belt and One Road" initiatives.

Li will pay an official visit to Kazakhstan and attend the second Regular Prime Ministers' Meeting, a meeting between leaders from the two countries that was first held in 2012, with his Kazakh counterpart Karim Massimov. He will also attend the 13th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States.

In the prime ministers' meeting, economic cooperation will be high on the agenda, especially the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, Xia Yishan, a research fellow of Central Asian studies at the China Institutes of International Studies, told the Global Times.

The ministers are likely to discuss the joint development of railways and roads, Xia said.

In Li's discussion with Kazakh ministers, infrastructure development and technological investment will likely be the main focus of the talks between the two countries as Kazakhstan has already shown some initiative in these areas, Zhao Huirong, a research fellow of Central Asian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

During Li's stay in Serbia, he will attend the third Meeting of Heads of Government of Central and Eastern European Countries and China, and pay an official visit to the country.

Xu Gang, a research fellow on Serbia with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, expected Li to further promote infrastructure development in the region, especially railways.

To round out a busy week, Li will attend the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program in Thailand.

Li is likely to clarify China's stance on the joint development of the Mekong River area and seek to coordinate with other countries that have disputes over issues related to development around one of the world's longest rivers Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times. Such disputes include the establishment of hydroelectric facilities and the management of river courses, Zhao added.

Zhao predicted that a memorandum of understanding between the two countries regarding railway construction may be inked.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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