Li: Europe can get out of crisis

Updated: 2011-12-06 07:50

By Wu Jiao and Zheng Yangpeng (China Daily)

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Li: Europe can get out of crisis

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on Monday shakes hands with visiting Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond at the Zhongnanhai compound, where the central government offices are located in Beijing. [Wu Zhiyi / China Daily]

BEIJING - China reaffirmed its confidence in Europe's "wisdom and ability" to resolve the eurozone debt crisis, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday while meeting Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond.

"The European Union is the world's biggest economy of developed countries, and we believe the EU has the wisdom and ability to overcome the debt crisis and support its measures to tackle the crisis," Li said.

He added that China hopes all sides will work together and implement all the measures to ease the crisis, and promote financial stability and a gradual economic recovery.

Li also spoke highly of the development of China's relations with Scotland and the United Kingdom, saying that increasing trade cooperation and cultural exchanges brought substantial benefits to both sides.

Salmond, who has led the devolved Scottish government in Edinburgh since 2007, was invited to China by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Salmond said Scotland attaches great importance to relations with China and will make further contributions to the sound development of bilateral ties.

Xiong Hou, vice-director of the Economy Office of the Institute of European Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said green technology has been a key area of cooperation between China and European countries with advanced technologies in the field, including Scotland.

Salmond said prior to his departure from Scotland that green energy cooperation would be a focus of his week-long trip to China, his third to the country.

"China already has strong onshore wind power technologies, and we can now cooperate on offshore wind power as well as other marine powers like wave and tidal power," Salmond said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency.

Scotland is a global leader in wind power technology. Vice-Premier Li toured a wave power plant when he visited Scotland in January.

Scotland and China sealed a 6.4 million pound ($10 million) green energy deal during Li's January visit to Edinburgh.

During his stay in China, Salmond will also visit Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well as Shandong province, according to the Scottish government.

A statement from the Scottish government said, Monday's talks between Li and Salmond sought "to identify further business and cultural links to build on those already made earlier this year when Li visited Scotland".

"I was delighted that the vice-premier agreed to support developing relationships between Scotland and China in the fields of healthcare, water management and infrastructure and aviation connectivity," Salmond was quoted as saying.

He expressed appreciation for the two giant pandas from China, which arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday, and are expected to stay at Edinburgh Zoo for 10 years.

The pair of giant pandas are a bit jet-lagged after their long-haul flight, but are already "frolicking around" in their new surroundings, a spokesman for Edinburgh Zoo said on Monday.

Yang Guang (Sunshine) and Tian Tian (Sweetie), the first of the endangered bears to live in the UK in 17 years, were welcomed to the Scottish capital with much fanfare, including a bagpipe band and flag-waving well-wishers dressed up as pandas. The pair have stayed indoors since their arrival but have settled in "very well", a zoo spokesman said.

"They have two hours' sleep, wake up, get fed, and then go back to sleep. They are eating well."

The Scottish government has mapped out a China strategy in its cultural and trade blueprint, committed to developing bilateral cultural and economic links.

Several Scottish companies have already opened subsidiaries in China or have built joint ventures with Chinese companies, and Chinese companies such as PetroChina have also invested in Scotland.

In an interview with the People Daily's website last week, Salmond also said he hopes the 2012 London Olympics would also bring more Chinese tourists to Scotland.

AFP contributed to this story.