Chinese Premier Li Keqiang invites leaders from Central and Eastern European (CEE) nations to a ride on a China-made bullet train from Suzhou to Shanghai on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015. (Photo: China News Service/Liu Zhen)
On post-summit trip from Suzhou to Shanghai, premier showcases bullet train technology
In what could be called the Premier Road Show, Li Keqiang took leaders from 16 Central and Eastern European countries for a trip on a high-speed train to showcase Chinese technology. [Special coverage]
On Wednesday morning, the premier treated the leaders, many of whom are first-time visitors to China, to ride on the world's fastest bullet train, from Suzhou, Jiangsu province, to Shanghai. The trip followed the conclusion of the Fourth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries (16+1).
From Shanghai, the guests then flew to Beijing for meetings with President Xi Jinping on Wednesday and Thursday.
The train trip, which lasted about 20 minutes and covered 110 kilometers, was used by Premier Li to show the potential buyers of Chinese technology what the country can offer.
The outer skin of every train car, painted in high-gloss white, was decorated with the flags of China and the 16 CEE countries, as well as a mathematical formula－16+1>17－indicating the strong potential of cooperation between China and the CEE countries.
Slovenia Prime Minister Miro Cerar stood up to check the stability of the semi-transparent luggage rack, which is made of tempered glass, and then placed his bag on it.
Nikola Gruevski, prime minister of the Republic of Macedonia, told China Daily after the trip that he was thinking about buying more high-speed trains from China. Macedonia was the first European country to operate a high-speed train that was made in China.
Li said further such cooperation is likely. "China is in talks with the CEE countries on more transportation projects," and China's safe, fast and inexpensive high-speed trains fit well with the needs of the CEE countries, he said.
China, Serbia and Hungary finalized documents on Tuesday to allow China to lead the construction and financing of a railway linking Belgrade and Budapest.
Kong Tianping, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said "China's ties with CEE countries can also help increase their opportunities in the EU".