rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » 27 years later, Li Keqiang returns to India as Chinese premier

27 years later, Li Keqiang returns to India as Chinese premier

Last updated on: May 17, 2013 14:28 IST

27 years later, Li Keqiang returns to India as Chinese premier

     Next

Next

It's the fond memories of the Taj Mahal and the hospitality of Indians that bring Li Keqiang back to India, this time as the premier of the world's most populous nation.

China's Li Keqiang has chosen India as his first foreign visit as premier, and that's not just because it is a neighbour.

Ahead of his Sunday's visit to New Delhi, Li gave a personal touch of sorts to the relationship between the two nations, a rare gesture by the rigid Chinese leadership. He said that he had picked India "because of the seeds of friendship sown in my own youth".

The Chinese premier hinted at a major policy change towards India in an attempt to mellow down the tensions created between the two nations following the recent standoff in Ladakh.

With inputs from PTI

Click NEXT to read further...



Image: China's Premier Li Keqiang
Photographs: David Moir/Getty Images

     Next

27 years later, Li Keqiang returns to India as Chinese premier

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Addressing a 100-member Indian youth delegation at Zhongnanhai, the imperial gardens housing the headquarters of China's ruling Communist Party and central government on Wednesday, Li spoke warmly about his visit to India 27 years ago as leader of a youth delegation.

The fond memories from that visit also made him choose India for his first overseas visit, he said.

Recalling his visit to India over two-and-a-half decades ago, he said, "What I saw and felt during that trip, visiting the Taj Mahal and prestigious Indian universities, research institutes, and the warmth and hospitality of the Indian people, left a lasting impact on me."

"In a few days' time I will make India the first stop of my first overseas visit as a premier of China. I have made this decision not just because India is an important neighbour and one of the populous countries of the world but also because of the seeds of friendship sown during my own youth," he said.

Click NEXT to read further...



Image: China's Premier Li Keqiang waves as he leaves after the annual news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Photographs: Kim Kyung-Hoo/Reuters

Prev     Next

27 years later, Li Keqiang returns to India as Chinese premier

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

For this vision to truly come true our two countries must shake hands and conduct exchanges so that together we can raise the standing of Asia in the world and truly make the Asian economy an important engine for the world economy," Li said.

"The linkage of our two vast markets will bring tangible benefits to people in both the countries and provide a strong impetus for world economic growth and prosperity as well as that in Asia," he added.

"People say Asia represents the hope for the future of the world. That I think is because of you the young people. To turn the hope into reality, we must start with exchanges between the young people of the two countries," he said as he spoke to the Indian delegation.

Click NEXT to read further...



Image: Li Keqiang shakes hands with Nita Chowdhury, secretary of the ministry of youth affairs and sports, after a group photo during a meeting with the members of an Indian youth delegation at the Zhongnanhai compound in Beijing, May 15
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters

Prev     Next

27 years later, Li Keqiang returns to India as Chinese premier

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Fifty-seven-year-old Li, an English-speaking bureaucrat, who took over from Wen Jiabao, was elected by about 3,000 deputies of the National People's Congress, known as the rubber stamp Parliament for routinely endorsing the decisions of the ruling Communist Party of China.

Li is ranked No 2 in the CPC hierarchy, after Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Li's name was proposed by Xi, who is also the general secretary of the CPC besides the chief of military. Li won 99.7 per cent of the 2,949 votes counted, with just three votes against him and six abstentions.

Click NEXT to read further...



Image: Li Keqiang speaks to Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid during a meeting at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing May 10
Photographs: China Daily/Reuters

Prev     Next

27 years later, Li Keqiang returns to India as Chinese premier

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

However, unlike his predecessor, Li is ranked higher in the CPC, which gives him far more political clout than Wen, 70, who was ranked third in the party after Wu Bangguo, the outgoing head of the NPC.

Under Xi's leadership, the order is reversed as the premier is ranked higher than the new NPC Chief Zhang Dejiang.

As someone who is closely identified with both economic and administrative reforms in China in the last five years, Li, an economist politician, will have another economist to assist him in the reform process as Xi has chosen politburo member Li Yuanchao as vice president.



Image: Li Keqiang and an ethnic minority delegate look at China's President Xi Jinping signing an autograph at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Photographs: Jason Lee/Reuters

Prev     Next

TOP photo features of the week

Prev     More

Click on MORE to see another set of PHOTO features...



Tags:

Prev     More