Li Keqiang, the Piraeus port and China’s strategy

wires_1397128095779_middle-002Ahead of the Belgrade Summit  of December 2014 Prime Minister of China Li Keqiang has explained his country’s strategy to media by making a specific reference to Greece and the port of Piraeus. As he asserted: ‘I am confident that the Belgrade Guidelines for Cooperation to be released at the meeting will put forth new measures and proposals for closer cooperation and deeper mutual understanding, and will become an upgraded agenda for cooperation that goes in parallel with the Bucharest Guidelines for Cooperation. China will put forward the following initiatives at the meeting: build a China-Europe land-sea express line based on the Budapest-Belgrade Railway and the Greek port of Piraeus to enhance regional connectivity; start the formulation of a medium-term agenda for China-CEEC cooperation to map out a common blueprint for future cooperation; set out a package proposal on financial cooperation to better facilitate business collaboration; designate 2015 as the China-CEEC Year of Tourism Cooperation and Promotion to deepen people-to-people exchanges. I look forward, with full confidence, to meeting leaders of the 16 countries in Belgrade’

Prime Minister Li also said: ‘The Mihajlo Pupin Bridge is the first large infrastructure project Chinese companies undertook in Europe. China’s proposal of building the China-Europeland-sea express line on the basis of the Belgrade-Budapest Railway and the Greek port of Piraeus will directly impact an area of 340,000 square kilometers and a population of 32 million. The express line will greatly enhance the transport and logistics network of countries along the way, promote their economic growth and people’s livelihood, and deepen China’s mutually beneficial cooperation with these countries. It will set a model for China-Europe cooperation on connectivity’.