Rail­ways, nu­clear power on agenda of Li’s Euro­pean visit

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By XING ZHI­GANG and ZHAO YINAN

China will likely ex­plore busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in the high-speed rail­way, nu­clear power and ship­build­ing in­dus­tries dur­ing Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang’s up­com­ing visit to the United King­dom and Greece, ex­perts said.

Li is sched­uled to be­gin a six-day visit to the two coun­tries on Mon­day — his third Euro­pean trip since tak­ing of­fice in 2013 — ac­cord­ing to the For­eign Min­istry.

He is slated to meet Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron at his Lon­don res­i­dence on a “re­cip­ro­cal visit” fol­low­ing the Bri­tish leader’s trip to China last year. Li will also meet Queen El­iz­a­beth II. It will be the first visit to the UK by a Chi­nese pre­mier in three years.

Vice- For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Chao said talks with Cameron will cover trade, in­vest­ment, en­ergy and cul­tural ex­changes.

Ma Zhen­gang, for­mer Chi­nese am­bas­sador to the UK, said the visit is an in­di­ca­tion that Sino-Bri­tish re­la­tions are get­ting back on track af­ter signs of re­cov­ery in ties last De­cem­ber when Cameron vis­ited Bei­jing.

Bi­lat­eral re­la­tions nose­dived in 2012 when Cameron met the Dalai Lama, prompt­ing China to can­cel sched­uled meet­ings with the UK.

Tian Dewen, a re­searcher of Euro­pean stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said he ex­pects the visit will fo­cus on eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion.

He iden­ti­fied the high­speed rail­way and nu­clear

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power in­dus­tries as two fields with high po­ten­tial for co­op­er­a­tion.

Ma said the UK’s rel­a­tively ag­ing in­fra­struc­ture pre­sents great op­por­tu­ni­ties for Chi­nese in­vestors and ex­porters.

Bi­lat­eral trade ex­ceeded $70 bil­lion in 2013, a rise of 11 per­cent year-on-year. That per­cent­age far ex­ceeds the 2.1-per­cent growth for over­all trade be­tween China and Europe.

Zhao Junjie, an ex­pert of Euro­pean stud­ies at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said China and Greece will likely dis­cuss the port, avi­a­tion, tourism and trade in­dus­tries.

He said China’s ad­van­tages in the ship­build­ing in­dus­try dove­tail with Greece’s need to re­vive its tra­di­tional strength in sea trans­porta­tion.

Li and his Greek coun­ter­part An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras are ex­pected to visit Pi­raeus port near Athens, part of which is op­er­ated by China’s Sta­te­owned ship­ping gi­ant China Ocean Ship­ping (Group) Co un­der a 35-year lease signed in 2009.

It was the first time that a Chi­nese firm had been granted op­er­at­ing rights to an over­seas port. Con­tact the writ­ers at xingzhi­gang@chi­nadaily.com.cn and zhaoy­i­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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