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Premier to visit Germany, Russia, Italy

Premier Li Keqiang will visit Germany, Russia, and Italy this week. While in Italy, Li will visit the UN Food and Agricultural Organization headquarters in Rome and attend the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Milan.

Premier Li Keqiang is set to start his second European tour this year, visiting Germany, Russia and Italy. Li will also attend the Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Milan for the first time since taking office.

The trip will see more efforts by China to push for deeper cooperation and mutual trust between Asia and Europe.

“At the invitation of the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and the European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Premier Li Keqiang will attend the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit and relevant activities in Milan, Italy from October 16th to the 17th. The theme of the summit is ‘Responsible Partnership for Growth and Security.’ There will be sessions held on promoting financial and economic cooperation through enhanced Europe-Asia connectivity, on establishing a Europe-Asia partnership to address global matters in an inter-connected world, and enhancing dialogue and cooperation between Europe and Asia and the future direction of ASEAN,” Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong said.

In Italy, Li will also pay a visit to the FAO headquarters for the first time, showing that China attaches great importance to international cooperation in non-traditional security fields.

Germany will become the only country that Li has visited twice since taking office in March 2013.

“Germany is China’s biggest European partner in trade, investment and technological cooperation. The bilateral trade volume last year exceeded 160 billion U.S. dollars. President Xi Jinping visited the European economic powerhouse in March, which was followed by a tour by Chancelor Angela Merkel to China four months later. China and Germany have been seeing intensive top-level exchanges,” Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao said.

During his stay in Russia, Li Keqiang will attend the 19th China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting and a forum with a theme of open innovation.

“More than 50 mutually beneficial agreements will be signed. The two sides will reach a new consensus in the areas of energy, high-speed railways and finance. And they will inject new impetus to the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination,” Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said.

The relations with major powers are always cornerstones of China’s diplomacy. Premier Li Keqiang’s tour to Germany, Russia and Italy aims to promote pragmatic cooperation through intensive interaction. And the visit is expected to bring a broader perspective to stability and development in Asia and Europe.