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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds a Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Li Keqiang's Visits to Germany, Russia, Italy and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Headquarters and His Attendance at the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit

On October 8, 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media on Premier Li Keqiang's chairing of the third round of the China-Germany inter-governmental consultation and visiting to Germany, visiting to Russia and holding of the 19th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian prime ministers, visiting to Italy and the United Nations (UN) Food and Agricultural Organization (hereinafter referred to as FAO) headquarters and attending of the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit. Vice Foreign Ministers Li Baodong, Wang Chao and Cheng Guoping introduced the relevant situation and answered questions from Chinese and foreign reporters.

First, on chairing the third round of the China-Germany inter-governmental consultation and visiting Germany

Wang Chao introduced that Germany is a core power of European Union (EU), the largest economy in Europe and also China's largest partner in trade, investment and technological cooperation in Europe. Last year, bilateral trade volume between China and Germany exceeded 160 billion USD, accounting for nearly 30 percent of China's total trade with the EU, and over 1 million personnel exchanges were made between the two countries. This year, the all-round strategic partnership with a new positioning is established between the two countries. The bilateral relations have entered a newer and higher development stage, and the practical cooperation in various fields has advanced steadily. Following President Xi Jinping's visit to Germany this March and Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to China this July, Premier Li Keqiang will visit Germany soon, which fully demonstrates the close high-level exchanges between China and Germany as well as the very high-level bilateral relations.

Premier Li Keqiang and Chancellor Merkel will co-chair the third round of China-Germany inter-governmental consultation, with over 20 ministers and deputy ministers from both sides participating in the meeting. As the inter-governmental dialogue mechanism at the highest level and on the broadest range, this government-to-government consultation will take China-Germany Innovative Partnership as the theme to further broaden and deepen bilateral practical cooperation in various fields. As the concentrated demonstration of this consultation's achievements, both sides will issue the Action Outline for China-Germany Cooperation themed with Co-shape Innovation to plan for future cooperation between the two countries in a systematic and comprehensive way.

During his visit in Berlin, Premier Li Keqiang will also meet with President Joachim Gauck of Germany and attend the 7th China-Germany Economic and Technical Cooperation Forum with Chancellor Merkel and deliver a speech. In Hamburg, Premier Li Keqiang will attend the closing ceremony of the 6th Hamburg Summit of China-Europe Forum, deliver a keynote speech, and meet with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg and President Martin Schulz of European Parliament respectively.

China and Germany will sign more than 20 inter-governmental cooperation agreements and weighty business contracts, covering industry, informatization, energy, science, education, agriculture, health care, aviation, aerospace, energy conservation, environmental protection and other fields. Both sides will propose new measures on facilitating visa issuance and other issues so as to promote personnel exchanges and consolidate the social foundation of the China-Germany friendship.

Second, on paying a visit to Russia and holding the 19th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian prime ministers.

Cheng Guoping pointed out that China and Russia are each other's most important strategic partners of coordination. The successful meeting between the two heads of state in Shanghai this May promoted the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new development stage. Both countries give firm political support to each other, provide important development opportunities to each other and consider each other as the priority partner, and therefore their strategic coordination in international and regional affairs has become more and more effective. China has become Russia's largest trading nation for four consecutive years, with the bilateral trade volume up by 5.7 percent year on year from January to August this year, showing huge cooperative potential. In particular, both sides continue to make new progress and breakthroughs in the cooperation of major projects in such fields as investment, energy, aviation, aerospace, transportation, people-to-people and cultural engagement, and local areas. China-Russia cooperation is a long-term stable and strategic cooperation which is of great significance to promoting social and economic development of both countries, to pushing the process of global economic recovery and to safeguarding world peace and stability.

Premier Li Keqiang will meet with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, hold large and small-scale talks with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and attend the signing ceremony and together meet with reporters. He will respectively meet with Chairwoman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko and Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin of Russia. He will also attend and address the opening ceremony of the International Forum on Open Innovation which will be co-organized by China and Russia.

The Chinese side expects to achieve the following goals through this visit. First, both sides could further enhance bilateral political mutual trust and consolidate mutual support on issues concerning each other's sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and other core interests. Second, both sides could promote bilateral practical cooperation and in particular, make new progress and breakthroughs in cooperation on major strategic projects in aviation, aerospace, energy, high-speed rail, finance, innovation, transportation infrastructure and other fields, promoting transformation and upgrading of China-Russia practical cooperation. Third, both sides could further deepen people-to-people and cultural cooperation, focus on pushing the China-Russia Youth Year of Friendship Exchanges held by both sides, and make preparations for activities to jointly celebrate the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II next year. Fourth, both sides could strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, jointly promote the international community to maintain the results of the World War II and the post-war order, and safeguard international fairness and justice.

The two prime ministers will jointly sign and issue the Joint Communique of the Nineteenth Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers to determine the key fields and projects for the development and cooperation of China-Russia relations in the next phase. The two sides will also sign about 50 inter-governmental and inter-enterprise cooperation agreements in such fields as economy and trade, investment, energy, transportation, finance, local areas, and people-to-people and cultural engagement.

Third, on the visit to Italy and the FAO headquarters

Wang Chao said that Italy has carried on the traditional friendship with China and has given firm support to China on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns. Currently, China-Italy relations have maintained a sound momentum of development with frequent high-level exchanges and increasingly enhanced strategic mutual trust, and the bilateral practical cooperation in various fields has made fruitful results. China is Italy's largest trade partner in Asia and Italy is China's fifth largest trading partner in the EU. In the latter half of this year, Italy will assume the rotating presidency of the EU.

Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks and meetings respectively with President Giorgio Napolitano, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Senate President Pietro Grasso and President of the Chamber of Deputies Laura Boldrini of Italy. The two sides will jointly issue a joint statement of the two governments and sign nearly 20 inter-governmental agreements and commercial contracts in culture, environmental protection, quality control, energy, finance, aviation, telecommunications and other fields. The two sides will also put forward new initiatives on investment facilitation, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) cooperation and other aspects, so as to further deepen bilateral practical cooperation in economy and trade.

Wang Chao introduced that the Chinese side always pays much attention to and concerns about food security and poverty problems of the world, actively participates in relevant international cooperation, and attaches importance to carrying out exchanges and cooperation with the FAO. In recent years, cooperation between the two sides has been increasingly closer, cooperation fields have been constantly expanded and the content of cooperation has been enriched. Premier Li Keqiang will at the scheduled time introduce the successful experience of China in the fields of agricultural development and rural poverty reduction, so as to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries across the world in related fields.

Fourth, on attending the 10th ASEM summit

Li Baodong introduced that the theme of this summit is "Building a Responsible Partnership and Promoting Sustainable Growth and Security". The main agenda include: First is to research on enhancing connectivity and to promote economic and financial cooperation between Asia and Europe; second is to discuss that Asia and Europe work together to address global issues in the interconnected world; third is to discuss issues on how to strengthen Asia-Europe dialogue and cooperation and the development direction of ASEM. This summit will formally accept Kazakhstan and Croatia as its members so that the ASEM will be expanded to include 53 members, and the influence of it will be further strengthened.

Li Baodong expressed that, China is an active advocate and an important driving force of the ASEM process. As China is a founding member of the ASEM, the Chinese Premier attended the previous summits and put forward 25 initiatives in total on the Asia-Europe cooperation, covering scientific and technological innovation, energy conservation, environmental protection, sustainable development, economy, trade and investment facilitation, new urbanization and other important fields. The Chinese side hopes this summit can achieve positive results in the following four aspects:

First is to consolidate strategic mutual trust, promoting mutual trust among members of Asia and Europe. It is hoped that all parties will continue to seek common ground while put aside differences, to strengthen dialogues, to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation between Asian and European countries in international and regional affairs, and to jointly maintain basic norms governing international relations while complying with the principles of treating each other as equals, mutual respect, consensus through consultations and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, so as to create a stable environment conducive to peace and prosperity in Asia and Europe.

Second is to gather more consensuses. The two continents of Asia and Europe are currently faced with common threats posed by global issues such as climate change, terrorism and infectious diseases, which require both sides to reinforce communication and cooperation, to seek policy convergence and to intensify coordinated actions. The ASEM should serve as an effective framework and platform for Asia and Europe to join hands to address global challenges.

Third is to deepen practical cooperation. It is hoped that all parties can combine with their respective development strategies to tap cooperative potential, to innovate cooperation forms, to make more progresses especially in economy, trade, investment and connectivity cooperation, and to enhance connections in interests between Asia and Europe, so as to generate more impetus for the development of Asian and European countries.

Fourth is to plan development directions. The ASEM will usher in its 20th anniversary in 2016. It is hoped that all parties can take this summit as the opportunity to push for new progresses of the ASEM in such aspects as cooperation form and mechanism building, so as to continuously improve cooperation efficiency and to lay a solid foundation for cooperation in longer term and with higher levels.

Li Baodong said that, during the summit, Premier Li Keqiang will expound on China's propositions on maintaining basic norms governing international relations and building an open world economy, introduce China's views and suggestions on strengthening Asia-Europe practical cooperation, and put forward specific cooperation initiatives. Premier Li Keqiang will also hold bilateral meetings with some state leaders present at the summit and have in-depth exchanges of views with them on international and bilateral issues of common concerns. It is believed that with the concerted efforts of all parties, this summit will be a complete success.

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