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Multi-faceted diplomacy for Li's 1st foreign trip


08:14, May 17, 2013

BEIJING - During his first international trip as a government head, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay official visits to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany from May 19 to 27.

"Li's visit is an important diplomatic activity of the new Chinese government toward neighboring countries and Europe," Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Starting with India and Pakistan, the arrangement of Li's trip shows the great importance the new government has attached to relations with the two close neighbors, said Song.

With Asia's status rising on the global stage, it is important for China and India to increase political mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and enhance coordination in international and regional affairs, said the vice minister.

During his visit to India, Li will meet with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He will also deliver a keynote speech on China-India relations and attend the China-India Business Cooperation Summit, Song said.

Vice Commerce Minister Jiang Yaoping said the two sides are planning to sign a number of documents on economic and trade cooperation.

A trade and investment promotion group will also visit India during the same period, said Jiang.

"China hopes the upcoming visit will cement the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership and beef up cooperation in mutual investment, trade and infrastructure," said Song.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, the bilateral trade volume reached $66.5 billion in 2012.

"At such a growth rate, the two sides are expected to hit the designated target of $100 billion on schedule," Jiang said, referring to the bilateral trade volume goal for 2015.

Li's visit to Pakistan will come just as Pakistan has recently concluded its general election, which is "a sign of the high level of mutual trust and the special friendship between the two countries," said Song.

He said China hopes the upcoming visit will send positive signals to the people of both countries and the international community that China values its relations with Pakistan and is committed to inheriting the traditional friendship and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides.

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