China’s Premier Li Urges Europe To Join Silk Road
October 19, 2014 • 11:26AM

At the summit of the ASEM in Milan this weekend, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang urged European participation in the “One Belt One Road”--”Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “Maritime Silk Road,” according to BRICS Post.

The 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) concluded Oct. 17, with EU and Asian leaders pledging to promote economic cooperation through enhanced Asia-Europe connectivity.

BRICS Post reports that

“A new map unveiled by Xinhua shows the Chinese plans for the Silk Road run through Central China to the northern Xinjiang from where it travels through Central Asia entering Kazakhstan and onto Iraq, Iran, Syria and then Istanbul in Turkey from where it runs across Europe cutting across Germany, Netherlands and Italy. The Maritime Silk Road begins in China’s Fujian and ends at Venice, Italy.”

While urging Europe to join this grand endeavor, Beijing has made it clear that it does not support the European Union sanctions against Russia. During the Chinese Premier’s Moscow visit earlier this week, Russia’s sanctions-hit banks Vnesheconombank, VTB, Rosselkhozbank received financing from Exim Bank of China.

Russia and China also signed several multibillion-dollar deals on Oct. 13, including nuclear energy, finance, tourism, high-speed railways, apart from the agreement on gas deliveries to China via the eastern route.

Launched in 1996, the biennial ASEM summit has served as a venue for dialogue between Asian and European countries. The ASEM now includes 53 countries after the accession of Kazakhstan and Croatia during this summit.

On Last Leg of European Visit, Li Keqiang Praises the Renaissance

On the last leg of his European visit in Italy, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang took time to visit a private museum in Rome, where many Renaissance sculptures are kept. The unplanned trip, which took up his lunch break, delivered “an emotional punch,’’ he said.

Li said he realized that the strong innovative vitality of the Renaissance came from the cultivation of the human spirit, and this vitality initiated the fundamental changes of the era. As the premier put it, without the Renaissance, the first Industrial Revolution would hardly have been possible.

“In my opinion the great innovative vitality of Italy is directly due to the diffusion of the humanist spirit and to the regard paid to the creative ideas of the Renaissance,’’ Li said. “Had there not been a Renaissance, it would have been difficult for the country to enter into humanity’s first Industrial Revolution. Thus, the combination of productivity and creativity helps us not only to know the truth, but also to have a more fulfilling life.’’

Li lamented the fact that China’s rise has not yet yielded artistic works in line with its rising status in the world, echoing comments made earlier this week by President Xi Jinping on the need for a cultural renaissance in China.