Premier Li to visit Germany, France in first overseas trip
Enhanced cooperation sought to inject positive energy into sluggish global economy
Published: Jun 15, 2023 10:24 PM
Chinese Premier Li Qiang meets the press after the closing of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China,on March 13, 2023. Photo: cnsphoto

Chinese Premier Li Qiang meets the press after the closing of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China,on March 13, 2023. Photo: cnsphoto

At the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the French government, Chinese Premier Li Qiang will pay an official visit to Germany and hold the seventh China-Germany inter-governmental consultation, and pay an official visit to France and attend the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact from June 18 to 23, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Thursday.

Li's visit is of vital importance in that it will help enhance cooperation between China and Europe and clarify some misunderstandings formed during the COVID-19 pandemic in the past three years due to lack of communication and the US-led Western camp's smearing of China, according to Chinese experts. 

They believe the visit will be a trip to seek consensus. It shows China's sincerity, confidence and strong willingness to cooperate with not only Europe, but also the world, Wang Huiyao, founder and president of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization, told the Global Times on Thursday.

This would certainly inject positive energy into the global economy, which is facing a turbulent international situation and sluggish economic recovery after the pandemic, observers said.

Li's visit came after French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to China in April and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit to China in late 2022, during which China reached fruitful cooperation and agreements with the two leaders. 

More European leaders have realized and agreed that the world is becoming multipolar rather than unipolar. The extensive exchanges between China and the world after the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated China's efforts to bring the world back to a correct channel of communication and cooperation rather than conflict, Wang Huiyao pointed out.  

Chinese experts expect China to reach practical cooperation during Li's visit in various fields, ranging from trade and nuclear power plants to loans for developing countries and climate change.  

According to the Foreign Ministry,  in Germany, Li will lead a delegation to participate in the seventh round of China-Germany government consultations, comprehensively reviewing and promoting practical cooperation in various fields between the two sides. 

Li will also attend the 11th China-Germany Economic and Technological Cooperation Forum and hold in-depth exchanges with representatives of the two countries' economic circles, Wang announced. 

As for the agenda in France, Wang said that Li will focus on implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state and focus on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France in 2024. 

Li will have in-depth communication with the French side on comprehensively deepening exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in various fields. He will also have extensive contacts with people from the economic circles of the two countries, which is believed to inject new impetus into the post-epidemic practical cooperation between China and France. 

An important part of Li's France visit will be his attendance of the New Global Financing Compact summit proposed by Macron, Wang Wenbin noted. 

In today's world, countries are increasingly interconnected and interdependent. In the face of endless crises and challenges, all parties need to work together to deal with them, he said.  

Experts believe Premier Li will probably also hold talks with German and French partners on the Ukraine crisis. 

From May 15 to 26, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs Li Hui paid a visit to five countries in Europe involved in the crisis, including Russia and Ukraine, to communicate on the issue. 

Special envoy Li's mission is to collect opinions from and communicate with the relevant parties. This time, Premier Li and his counterparts may touch upon some specific arrangements, including possible practical methods to promote peace negotiations, how to better continue cooperation between China and European countries - such as the China-Europe freight train service - under the impact of the Russia-Ukraine military conflict as well as humanitarian relief to Ukraine,Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Thursday.