Li Keqiang: China's super salesman

By Lin Liyao
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 12, 2013
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On Nov. 26, an exhibition of China's railways, infrastructure and equipment manufacturing took place at the Romanian Parliament Palace.

When 16 Central and Eastern European (CEE) leaders stepped into the exhibition hall, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang invited them to watch a video clip playing at the entrance.

In the video, road networks extended in all directions, trains flashed by and the people were pictured with smiles on their faces, presenting the status of railway development in modern China.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) meets with Romanian President Traian Basescu in Bucharest, Romania, Nov. 27, 2013. [Li Xueren/Xinhua]

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) meets with Romanian President Traian Basescu in Bucharest, Romania, Nov. 27, 2013. [Li Xueren/Xinhua]

In the center of the hall, there was a 21-meter-long model of a Chinese high-speed train. Li told the leaders that China has mature high-speed rail technology and equipment, rich experience in construction, and competitive advantages, which could be adapted to the conditions of various countries to satisfy the market demand.

After Li took up the post of premier, he has made three overseas tours. During the most recent tour, he attended the China-CEE leaders' meeting and the 12th prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Li took part in 53 events in 120 hours, and talked with 20 foreign leaders.

During his three official tours, Li played salesman for Chinese equipment and technology. His "products" range from China's high-speed railways to 4G technology, nuclear power to renewable resources, and even the film "Lost in Thailand."

From technology to capital

During his visit to CEE counties, Li led a business delegation of more than 270 members. On Nov. 26, he published a signed article called "Greetings across Rivers and Mountains" in Latvian, English and Russian in the Baltic News Service, the largest news agency in the Baltic region.

The article contained three paragraphs on Chinese technology and capital:

"China is making rapid progress in the manufacturing of transportation equipment, especially high-speed railways. We have a strong capacity and high-quality equipment, and the total mileage of high-speed railway under operation in China has exceeded 10,000 kilometers. We are fully capable of taking on high quality transportation infrastructure projects in CEE countries."

"China has reached world standards in manufacturing and installing equipment for coal-fired and hydro power stations, including pumped storage power stations. We also have mature technologies and world-class manufacturing capabilities in nuclear, wind and solar energies. Our equipment is inexpensive and high quality, which makes China an ideal partner for CEE countries."

"China is ready to explore a flexible means to use the US$10 billion special credit line for cooperation between China and CEE countries, to support major projects in the region."

On the day the article was published, railway share prices on China's A-share market soared. Shares in China Southern Locomotive and China CNR Corporation shot up five percent.

On the afternoon of Nov. 26, Li met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic in Bucharest. After the meeting, they met with the media, and announced a joint project to build a Hungary-Serbia Railway connecting Belgrade and Budapest and establish a joint working group to implement the project.

Promoting culture and friendship

Li's "engaging, well-informed and humorous" style in meetings and in dealing with the media, impressed his counterparts. During his visit he stressed bilateral friendship and cultural exchanges between China and other countries.

In addition, proverbs both in Chinese and other languages have also make Li's speeches big hits.

When addressing the Third Economic and Trade Forum between China and CEE Countries, Li quoted an English proverb, saying "An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory." and then followed with similar Chinese proverb "It is better to get up and get to work than to sit down and talk."

In a speech entitled "Letting the Ship of China-Romanian Friendship Brave the Wind and Waves and Set Sail on the Sea" at the Romanian Parliament, Li cited a Romanian old saying:"friendship is like wine, the longer the wine is fermented, the more fragrant it is, and the longer the relationship lasts, the deeper it grows."

In May this year, Li's "diplomatic debut" as the Chinese premier to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany has already earned him a worldwide reputation. His visit to CEE countries last month showed the world more charming "Li style."

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