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Four snapshots of Premier Li’s diplomacy from Astana to Malacca

Updated: Dec 13,2015 5:34 PM

Premier Li Keqiang is greeted by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov at a welcome ceremony after arriving at Astana International Airport on the afternoon of Dec 14, 2014. [Photo/Xinhua]

The story dates back to a freezing day one year ago in Central Asia.

Premier Li Keqiang showed up in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana wearing a rarely-seen fur hat on Dec 14, 2014 to keep warm in a city that reached -17 C.

The weather was cold, but the bilateral exchanges were warm. Premier Li’s meeting with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev extended from its scheduled time slot of one hour to one and a half hours with the aid of simultaneous interpretation, indicating a more extensive and in-depth conversation between the two leaders.

The Premier said that China, with its rich and quality capacity, can have profound cooperation with Kazakhstan.

The meeting marks the initiation of the proposal of international capacity cooperation.

Over the year, the two countries have decided on dozens of capacity cooperation projects exceeding a total investment of $20 billion.

During his official visit to Brazil, Premier Li took a ride on the new China-built subway in Rio de Janeiro with the city’s governor on May 20.

It is in Brazil that the Premier first put forward a new “3X3” model for enhanced cooperation between China and Latin America.

Capacity cooperation will bring about opportunities for transformation and upgrading of the two countries, because Brazil and other Latin American countries will not serve as the global supplier of primary products forever, as China will not always serve as the world factory of cheap products, said Premier Li, adding that tremendous common interests of the two countries lay a solid foundation for cooperation.

During his talks with French President Francois Hollande on June 30 at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, the two reached in-depth consensus on cooperation in third-party markets, marking that a developed country is added to the jigsaw of international capacity cooperation.

The Chinese and French governments issued a joint statement afterward on cooperation in third-party markets.

So far, China and France have made breakthrough in cooperation in third-party markets. Enterprises of the two countries will jointly invest, construct and operate the landmark project of Hinkley Point nuclear power station in the UK.

During his official visit to Malaysia, Premier Li went to the port city Malacca on Nov 22, where he overlooked the Strait of Malacca, the strait with a long navigation history and practical importance to China.

During the visit, Premier Li again started his super promotion by stressing the international competitiveness of Chinese enterprises in infrastructure construction and other sectors. He added that the Chinese government is willing to offer strong support for local cooperation between China and Malaysia.

One day earlier, during the 18th China-ASEAN (10+1) leaders’ meeting in Kuala Lumpur, the Premier said that China is willing to regard ASEAN as an important direction of international capacity cooperation.

Moreover, during his talks with the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, he called on the two countries to actively explore the construction of the Malaysia-Singapore high-speed railway.

So far, China has signed framework agreements or memoranda of understanding on production capacity cooperation with 15 countries including Kazakhstan, Brazil, Malaysia and Ethiopia, while it is holding negotiations with 33 other countries.

In terms of multilateral cooperation, China and the EU have stepped up efforts to establish a China-EU joint investment fund. China and the African Union have framed a China-Africa railway cooperation plan.

During the sixth leaders’ meeting of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea which resumed after a hiatus of three and a half years, the three countries reached a consensus to strengthen capacity cooperation in the manufacturing and service industries for international market.