China's leaders are on one heck of a world tour this summer, as Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping are each making a slew of international visits in the coming weeks.
Experts have called China's outreach to developing and developed nations a new brand of "all-directional diplomacy" from the emerging global leader.
After talking border tensions and trade in India Tuesday, Li landed in Pakistan on Wednesday, where he will meet with prime minister-elect Nawaz Sharif one-on-one, told Agence France-Presse.
"The purpose of the visit is to devise a strategy to bolster future cooperation and friendship," Li said in a statement. "We will strengthen a strategic partnership with Pakistan in whatever the international scenario and circumstances are."
"Normally foreign visitors don't go to countries during the interim setups, but China has recognized that the visit to Pakistan is necessary even at this stage," Pakistan's former ambassador to the United States Tariq Fatemi told AFP.
Kequiang will head on to Switzerland to negotiate a free-trade agreement, and then to Germany.
President Xi Jinping isn't missing out on the whirlwind worldwide travel, either — the leader will be visiting Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and Mexico from May 31 to June 6, China's foreign ministry announced Tuesday.
It will be the first time a Chinese leader has visited Latin America, where he will have his second meeting with Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto. The first was two months ago in China's Sanya City.
Jinping will then continue to California, to meet President Obama to talk out "a wide range of bilateral, regional and global issues" like North Korea, the ongoing South China Sea disputes, and cyberterrorism.
"If both sides still attach importance to mutual trust then a strong positive signal is urgently needed to reduce suspicions," wrote bilingual Global Times in an op-ed about the US meeting, adding that it "comes at the right time."
"Against the current backdrop where cooperation, frictions, and vigilance are all intertwined within the bilateral relationship, it's vital for us to establish confidence that the two countries are partners instead of rivals," the piece added.
Xi began the flood of “all-directional diplomacy” in late March, when he flattered China’s powerful friend Russia by appearing there for his first foreign visit after being elected president earlier in the month. There, he met with Vladimir Putin to discuss a strengthening cooperation between the countries against the US and the West. The two also made deals to support each other economically, particularly in energy trade.
Next, Xi headed to Africa. Starting in Tanzania, he soothed local fears that Chinese trade would smother African economies, and promised cooperation and aid.
Then he was on to Durban, South Africa for a BRICS leaders’ summit.
He wrapped up his Africa visit in the Republic of Congo, where he agreed to finance infrastructure projects, including new ports and a hydroelectric power station. In a speech to Congo's parliament, he said, "The future, the development of China will be an unprecedented opportunity for Africa, and Africa's development will be the same for my country,"
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