Grand-plan synergy

Updated: 2015-06-26 06:35

By Fu Jing and Martin Banks(China Daily Europe)

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China's Belt and Road Initiative is being seen as a natural partner to Europe's 315-billion-euro investment plan

The phenomenal growth that China has achieved over the past 30 years or so owes a lot to the capital, industrial capacity and management know-how that it has drawn on from other economic powerhouses.

Not only is China now an integral part of the global industrial chain and rich in foreign reserves, but in some fields, such as high-speed rail and civilian nuclear reactors, it stands head and shoulders above its rivals.

Grand-plan synergy

To achieve that competitiveness it has exported capital, know-how, talent and technology, benefiting buyers and sellers alike.

Now the country's focus has switched to learning how to live with a simmering economy rather a boiling one, and national economic diplomacy is largely preoccupied with the Belt and Road Initiative, part of which aims to match domestic production capacity with the demands of other economies.

These preoccupations have largely been reflected by the overseas itineraries of the country's leaders this year. On two overseas trips, President Xi Jinping has visited Pakistan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus, and Premier Li Keqiang has been in South America promoting China's high-tech capacity and know-how.

From June 28, Li was to be in Belgium, where the European Union headquarters is located, and to fly to France.

Government and industry efforts at forging closer economic ties with Europe will continue even as Beijing presses on with the heavy lifting of its Belt and Road Initiative, and as the EU presses on with a 315 billion euro investment plan over the next three years.

In fact, in some quarters these two grand projects are seen as going hand in hand.

Li was to attend the 17th China-EU leaders' meeting on June 29 after attending the EU-China Business Summit and meeting leaders and discussing innovation and development.

Several documents and a final communique were to be signed during his one day in Brussels.

Both sides were expected to announce consensus on climate change as United Nations talks in Paris on the issue loom, and reliable sources said the two sides would look for ways to coordinate China's Belt and Road Initiative with the EU investment plan.

On June 29, Li was also to meet Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, and several agreements were to be signed.

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