Premier's Eurasia tour to unleash potential for regional cooperation
Updated: 2014-12-14 10:26
BEIJING - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming three-nation tour in Asia and Europe will not only help further China's relations with the host countries, but also be of great significance to regional and sub-regional cooperation, experts say.
During the seven-day trip which starts on Sunday, Li will pay an official visit to Kazakhstan and attend the 13th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
He will also attend the third leaders' meeting of China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and pay an official visit to Serbia.
In Thailand, the final leg of his tour, Li will attend the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation.
FRESH MOMENTUM FOR SCO COOPERATION
Li's visit to Kazakhstan will be his first since he took office in 2013, as well as the first visit by a Chinese premier to the country since 2008.
Sheng Shiliang, executive director of the Center of SCO Studies, said China-Kazakhstan relations have maintained a good momentum of development, with remarkable achievements in cooperation in such fields as security, inter-connectivity, trade and economy.
During his stay in the Central Asian nation, Li will also attend the second regular meeting between the China-Kazakhstan heads of government.
In Kazakhstan, Li is expected to address an event held by the entrepreneurs' committee of the two countries, and witness the signing of about 30 cooperation documents valued at over 10 billion U.S. dollars.
Li's visit embodies great importance attached by China to its amity with Kazakhstan, Sheng said, adding that the signing of big business deals will inject fresh vitality into Kazakhstan's economic development.
Besides, the Chinese premier's attendance at the SCO prime ministers' meeting will broaden cooperation within the regional organization in such areas as security, economy, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
In the context of the prolonged Ukraine crisis, the threat of "three civil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism, and the slowdown of some member states' economic growth, high expectations have been placed on the SCO and great importance attached to China's role in dealing with those issues.
At the meeting, Li is expected to expound on China's proposal in safeguarding stability, developing economy, and improving the people's livelihood, and put forward a series of initiatives in bolstering the organization's development, so as to implement the consensus reached at the September SCO summit and inject new momentum into the development of regional cooperation.