On heels of a successful participation of European Union countries in the China-led Asian Infrastructure InvestmentBank (AIIB), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in Paris late Monday for a four-day visit to France.
Earlier on Monday, Li attended the China-EU Summit where he promised to invest in the bloc’s new infrastructure fund.
At a meeting with the new heads of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and of the European Council of EU leaders, Donald Tusk, Li said China was ready to invest in the European Union’s new 315 billion-euro infrastructure fund. The Chinese leader, however, contrary to expectations, did not disclose the amount Beijing is willing to spend.
“China’s decision to participate is a grand one,” Li said.
During his stay in France, Li is scheduled to visit the cities of Paris, Marseilles and Toulouse, deliver a speech at the headquarters of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and attend the closing ceremony of a China-France business summit.
Li will hold talks with French President Francois Hollande, Prime Minister Manuel Valls, presidents of the Senate and the French National Assembly, the OECD secretary-general as well as the director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
An array of business contracts and government accords on areas ranging from aviation and finance to civil nuclear power and joint development of the third-party market are expected to be signed during Li’s visit.
Bilateral trade volume hit $55 billion in 2014, a 5.3-per cent growth year on year.
China is now France’s eighth largest export market and sixth largest source of imports.
Fears of a Greek debt default however overshadowed the China-EU gathering. EU leaders have warned Greeks that rejecting creditors’ proposals in a snap referendum called for Sunday would mean leaving the euro.
Earlier on Monday, Li urged Greek creditors to reach an agreement.
“We would like to see Greece staying in the euro zone and we urge the international creditors to reach an agreement with the Greek side,” he said.
TBP and Agencies