Chinese premier outlines his Eurasian blueprint

Chinese premier outlines his Eurasian blueprint
Chinese premier Li Keqiang has put forward a blueprint for cooperation between Asia and Europe.

CHINA - Premier Li Keqiang has put forward a blueprint for cooperation between Asia and Europe, voicing China's commitment to boosting interconnectivity and shouldering more duties in global governance and security.

Observers said he has submitted the bold initiative as a recipe for dealing with a range of political, economic and social challenges facing both continents.

At the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting summit held in Milan, Italy, on Thursday and Friday, Li called for Asian and European countries to safeguard peace and security and boost interconnectivity to promote development of the world's largest landmass.

The ASEM is a high-level, large-scale intergovernmental platform for dialogue and cooperation between the two continents.

China is ready to work with other countries to foster awareness of a "Eurasian community" and to promote unity and coordination between Asia and Europe, Li said.

It is also willing to work with other countries to build a Eurasian infrastructure network, Li said on Thursday.

Cui Hongjian, director of the Department for European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said, "The ASEM summit has offered a good opportunity to bring the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road concepts into Asia-Europe cooperation."

Cui was referring to the two transcontinental initiatives proposed by China last year.

Wang Xuexian, China's former deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said Beijing's connectivity initiatives have attracted support from many countries, including Russia and Italy.

Li's proposals at the summit are "hugely feasible" because concrete measures and advice have been given, Wang said.

Li urged Asian and European countries to safeguard regional peace, security and development. He also encouraged them to improve interconnectivity and to further liberalize trade and investment.

He proposed resuming the ASEM Economic Ministers' Meeting mechanism and setting up a Eurasian centre for cooperation on scientific and technological innovation.

Li also reiterated China's adherence to the policy of peaceful development, good neighborliness and friendship.

"We will handle disputes in a reasonable and practical manner, become stakeholders of neighbouring Asian countries and have a common destiny in sharing responsibilities," Li said in an address to the plenary session of the ASEM on Thursday.

In a session on Friday, he said "the peace and stability of the continent matters to world peace and security", and called on all the countries to jointly safeguard "the fruits" of World War II.

Turning to global cooperation in the fight against the Ebola outbreak, Li said China will provide additional aid worth at least 100 million yuan ($20.82 million) to help combat the outbreak in West Africa.

China had previously offered Africa 234 million yuan in aid to battle the disease.

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