Li`s foreign trips a balanced diplomatic strategy

Last Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 19:47

Beijing: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang`s maiden foreign trip that will take him to India, Pakistan, Germany and Switzerland highlights Beijing`s bid for a more balanced and comprehensive diplomatic strategy that serves its interests worldwide, analysts have said.

Li will arrive in New Delhi on May 19 for a three day visit, his first trip to India after taking over office in March. He will also visit Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany.

Li`s trip to India and Pakistan reaffirms China`s policy of developing good ties with both of the two neighbours, Sun Shihai, vice director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said.

"China and India have border disputes, but their relationship has been stable on the whole. Li`s meeting with Indian leaders will cover issues including the border disputes, but I think an important mission of the trip is to deepen the China-India strategic partnership for peace and prosperity," Sun was quoted as saying by Chinese media.
"Such a special arrangement shows that China is granting more attention to the development of its relations with both neighbouring countries and major world powers," Shi Yinhong, a professor with the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China said.

Among the four nations Li is about to visit, India and Pakistan are both China`s neighbours and major emerging economies while Switzerland and Germany are two important developed countries in Europe.

Earlier China`s new President, Xi Jinping visited Russia after he took over in March.

"The Chinese government is seeking an all-around and more balanced diplomatic strategy other than focusing too much on its relationship with one or two specific powers," Shi said.

"The new Chinese leadership will further promote such a strategy. While consolidating old friendships, China is also making new friends. This will help China gain support in the future in international affairs," he said.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao told media here yesterday that Li chose India as the first leg of his visit and this reflects the importance the new Chinese leadership attaches to their bilateral relationship, stressing that their cooperation is of strategic significance and global impact.
On the political level, Beijing and New Delhi, both being founding members of the BRICS group, hold similar positions and share common interests on a series of international issues, such as the Syrian conflict and climate change, the report said.

Li`s visit to Pakistan comes on the heels of the election of Pakistan`s new prime minister again proves the importance of their "all-weather friendship.

"Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that have always stood with China on issues concerning China`s core interests. Their friendship deserves consolidation," Shi said.

Feng Zhongping, director of the Institute of European Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations said China`s relationship with both Germany and Europe at large are expected to be improved with Li’s visit.

PTI



First Published: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 19:47

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