Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to visit Europe and Russia

wires_1397128095779_middle-002Premier Li Keqiang will visit Germany, Russia, Italy and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) headquarters from Oct 9 to 15. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Oct 3 that Li will also attend the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Milan from Oct 16 to 17, at the invitation of President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.

Germany will become the only country that Li has visited twice since he took office in March 2013. During his visit, he will co-chair the China-Germany governmental consultation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Both countries hope to give full play to the governmental consultation mechanism to map out a long-term program of action for their future cooperation,” said former Ambassador to Germany Mei Zhaorong.

Germany is China’s biggest European partner in trade, investment and technological cooperation. Bilateral trade volume last year exceeded $160 billion.

Xiong Wei of the Chinese Foreign Affairs University said cooperation in innovation, especially in industrial informatization, finance and aviation and space technology, will give new impetus to China-Germany ties.

During his visit to Russia, Li will hold the 19th regular meeting between the two countries’s prime ministers with his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev. Energy cooperation will be an important topic, according to Professor Wu Dahui of Qinghua University.

At the invitation of FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva, Li will visit FAO headquarters in Rome on Oct 15, the eve of World Food Day.

“This shows the importance China attaches to global cooperation on non-traditional security areas. China’s remarkable achievements in food security and poverty reduction will provide valuable experience for global development,” Xiong said.

Li’s visit to Italy coincides with the 10th anniversary of the China-Italy comprehensive strategic partnership.