• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 3:46am

Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang, born in 1955, became China's premier in March 2013. Like ex-president Hu Jintao, his power base lies with the Communist Youth League, where he was a member of the secretariat of the league’s central committee in the 1980s and later in the 1990s the secretariat’s first secretary. His regional governance experience includes a period as vice party boss, governor and party boss of Henan province between 1998 and 2003 and party boss of Liaoning province beginning in 2004. He became vice premier in 2008. Li graduated from Peking University with a degree in economics. 


‘China has eclipsed Britain as superpower’, party mouthpiece declares amid Li Keqiang visit

Global Times rails against the British media and highlights dependence on China's billion-dollar investments

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 12:30pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 6:38pm

China has overtaken Britain as a world power, a state-run newspaper argued scornfully today, after Premier Li Keqiang oversaw the signing of trade deals that will see Chinese invest in British high-speed trains and nuclear power.

"Britain's national strength cannot be placed in the same rank as China now, a truth difficult to accept for some Britons who want to stress their nobility," the state-run Global Times wrote in an editorial.

Britain's national strength cannot be placed in the same rank as China now, a truth difficult to accept for some Britons
Global Times commentary

"Chinese society is more and more relaxed in dealing with Sino-UK ties, while the British could not be pettier," it added as Li began the third and final day of his British trip.

The newspaper, which is close to China's ruling Communist Party, frequently takes a nationalistic tone.

Britain and China signed trade deals worth more than £14 billion (HK$184 billion), Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday.

China will invest in Britain's new high-speed rail link from London to northern cities, and in new nuclear power plants among other energy projects, according to a joint statement. That could include Britain importing Chinese reactors.

The trend of investment illustrates dramatically how much China has changed: from economic basket-case a few decades ago to now being in a position to export advanced technology to the cradle of the Industrial Revolution.

"China is the largest developing country while Britain is the first industrialised nation, so further cooperation between the two would not only benefit themselves, but also the whole world," China's Xinhua news agency quoted Li as saying.

Among other trade deals, British energy giant BP says it will sign a pact worth around US$20 billion to supply China with liquefied natural gas. And Royal Dutch Shell signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Chinese energy giant CNOOC.

Li and Cameron have been working to repair a relationship that had suffered after a spat over Tibet.

But the improved mood was strained last week when The Times newspaper reported that Beijing had made a meeting between Li and Queen Elizabeth a precondition for the visit, threatening to call it off otherwise.

The Global Times dismissed such reports as "hype" which "only serves to reflect the narrow-mindedness of the British media and even the whole of its society".

"The once-powerful British Empire must now resort to such trickery to manifest its pride," it said.

"Perhaps Chinese people should forgive Britain's confusing sentiment," it continued. "A rising country should understand the embarrassment of an old declining empire and at times the eccentric acts it takes to hide such embarrassment."


Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

M Miyagi
Britain have it's superpower status after being nearly defeated by Nazi Germany in WWII and losing most of her colonies to the Japanese marauders. After the end of WWII, with the lost of most of her colonies, the last nail was hammered onto Britain's coffin. Even if China is a superpower, it still pale in comparison with the other superpower the US which can afford to make enemies everywhere, start wars and have continuous wars especially the War on Muslims. Whatever superpower China becomes it better not be like the war-mongering filthy USA.
Perhaps the SCMP could stop printing stories that are meant for the domestic population on the mainland. All week we have been regaled by stories of how great China is and how weak Britain is courtesy of the SCMP printing stories from mainland press. If these are really the case, on an international level, then why would the President of China bother visiting the UK? Could not the SCMP, instead of rabble rousing in Hong Kong, try to do some real journalism and produce a balanced piece giving their comments on these stories or simply not copy them. We, as subscribers (i.e. the ones who pay the money, the customers) would like to see stories/articles written for the Hong Kong readers and with less political bias. The SCMP is the only real English daily in Hong Kong so is it too much to ask that they try to be politically neutral and serve all of their readers, irrespective of their nationality, race and political affiliations?
Because lets face it - many of your readers/customers are British, American, Australian, etc. What is the mission of the SCMP? We can, if we choose, read other English Language publications from the Mainland. Personally I do and have subscribed to one. I expect a certain type of news reporting from these publications and something different from the SCMP. Stop wasting my money and report on stories yourself.
Another proof a truth difficult to swallow for a narrow-minded Brit who wants to stress nobility and chooses to live in the past. Indeed, we should understand the embarrassment a declining old empire is enduring....LOL
Every countries go through time-consuming phases before they are considered a "developed" nation. While emerging countries like China are still under a steep learning curve, it does not mean developed countries such as USA or the British Empire are considered "civilized". Frequent high-school gun fights in the US and bar brawls in the UK are by no means close to be considered "civilized". In fact, the US and British Empire, in particular, should learn from China on how to hold their horses from steering up wars everywhere on Earth and lowering domestic crime rates and drug problems. Hong Kongers are glad that the British are finally gone to where they belong, Hong Kongers can only hope that the British and the US can stick their noses within their own domestic lands and stop tampering with other people's countries. The Americans and the British still have much to learn from the emerging countries on maintaining peace and stellar social and economic growth.
SCMP: Somehow I knew you would take the Editorial piece out of context. But my dilemma is if I don't read you, I would not know what misinformation you are spreading. I can see that other readers have already posted the web link to the Editorial by Global Times. I am sure people with a clear head will have read the actual piece and not just swallowed your sound bite.
Do not be fooled by our beloved SCMP. It likes to twist stories and then turn its context upside down. You sound like a smart person so I urge you to read the actual Editorial at Global Times before forming your final judgement. And don't let something that has been taken out of context affect your view on an improving Sino-British diplomatic relations. The headline of the actual Editorial was " UK media hype over visit unprofessional".
Maybe I sound like a jerk, here, but I literally didn't know if you were talking about China or the US or England w/r/t bullying and economic clout. Sorry, but it fits the same criteria, so i was confused.
US and UK being great examples of preying on the weak and sucking the blood of stone aged primitives....



SCMP.com Account