Sunday seems to have become the preferred day for Premier Li Keqiang to kick off his visits abroad.
Premier Li left Beijing on June 28, Sunday for a visit to Europe, and after flying 8,000 kilometers he will attend the 17th China-EU Summit in Brussels and pay an official visit to France.
On May 17, another Sunday, Li started his tour of Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile.
Last year, Li began his first African trip in his existing capacity on May 4, a Sunday, and he started a trip that took him to Kazakhstan, Serbia and Thailand on Sunday, December 14.
The leaders of many countries do not usually have to work on weekends.
By choosing Sunday as his day of departure, Li uses his weekend to reduce the amount of the working week that is taken up by long-haul flights.
It takes 10 hours to fly from Beijing to Belgium, and Li arrived on Sunday afternoon local time.
He was due to meet staff members of China’s diplomatic mission to the European Union and the Chinese embassy in Belgium.
The Premier has a tight schedule on June 29, Monday, when he will attend the China-EU Business Summit and the China-EU Summit.
Later in the five-day trip to Europe, he will meet Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in Brussels and address the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.
Li often has no time to enjoy weekends during his trips. For his Latin American tour in May, he arrived in Peru a day ahead of the weekend.
According to local protocol, no diplomatic meetings are arranged for a Saturday. However, Li rose early in Lima, the capital of Peru, on a Saturday to chair a symposium of Chinese enterprises operating in the country.
He not only learned about the businesses but also spoke to employees through a videoconferencing system.