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Premier carries hectic schedule

2013-11-28 08:43 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

Efforts well-aligned with China's new reforms and opening-up policies: expert

The start of Premier Li Keqiang's first tour to Central and Eastern Europe has impressed the global media with its hectic schedule, starting from the second he stepped on the ground in Romania.  [Special coverage]

In less than two days, Li met with 15 prime ministers and one foreign minister of the 16 CEE nations on the sidelines of the China-CEE leaders meeting.

Li is the highest-ranking Chinese official to go on a foreign trip since the conclusion of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, which drew up a blueprint for China's reform in the coming years.

Li briefed his CEE counterparts on Beijing's comprehensive reform plans, saying they will bring more opportunities for cooperation between the two sides in the fields of infrastructure construction, clean energy and large equipment exports.

The leaders responded by saying they welcome Chinese investment to advance regional economic development, and extended invitations to the premier to visit more of the region.

During a speech at the Romanian Parliament Palace to the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate on Wednesday, Li pledged more joint infrastructure projects in Romania with the involvement of Chinese companies.

Discussion of the scale of cooperation in high-speed railways and power plants are going on, Li said.

He was interrupted by warm applause about 20 times.

Analysts say Li's trip should be viewed through the prism of the plenum's call for the comprehensive deepening of reform, and that what he conveys of China's interest in pursuing common economic prosperity and cooperation with the CEE countries will set the stage for future bilateral and multilateral relations in Europe.

"Central and Eastern European countries are understandably very interested in energy cooperation and infrastructure development, which can accelerate their industrialization objectives," said Dan Steinbock, research director of International Business at the India, China and America Institute.

"Conversely, such efforts are multilaterally well-aligned with China's new reforms and opening-up policies, just as they also reflect longstanding bilateral ties between China and the CEE economies."

Steinbock said Li's efforts to boost economic ties with Central and Eastern Europe make sense in several ways.

Li Keqiang visits Romania, Uzbekistan

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