Kurz in China

At the international Silk Road Forum in Beijing, the Austrian chancellor met Chinese leaders and signed several ambitious new bilateral treaties.

When China’s rulers call, the mighty come from far afield – as they did at the gathering China’s President Xi Jinping organized on April 26-28 to promote his country’s “Silk Road Initiative.” Among the invitees was Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who met afterwards with President Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang for a bilateral meeting.

“At the two-day international Silk Road Forum in Beijing, China clearly expressed its claim to shaping the world order,” said Kurz, according to the daily Kleine Zeitung. “The rules of the game are currently being partially rewritten…. Ignoring China would be absurd.”

Kurz and Prime Minister Li Keqiang have agreed on two major objectives according to reports in the daily Der Standard: Chinese tourism to Austria is to be doubled by 2025, and bilateral trade increased from €13 billion to €20 billion.

Five steps have been agreed to achieve these targets:

Better flight connections

Austrian Airlines (AUA) will continue to fly to Beijing and Shanghai from Vienna, while beginning June 18, China Southern Airlines will handle the route from Vienna via Ürümqi to Guangzhou. A third route to Chengdu has been covered by Hainan Airlines since October, 2018.

Tourism

The  Austrian National Tourist Office (Österreichische Werbung) will be increasingly active in China. The campaign is aimed primarily at private Chinese tourists who are interested in longer stays in Austria and in getting to know the whole country.

Payment transactions

The tourism program will require stronger cooperation with the Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent to coordinate payment systems, as Chinese tourists are accustomed to shopping on their mobile phones during their holidays.

Olympic Games 2022

Austrian companies with specific expertise have also offered support for the Winter Games to be held in Beijing in three years’ time – a clear business opportunity.  

Joint export loans

Both countries want to jointly secure loans – in Austria, China, but also in third countries. The Austrian Kontrollbank and the Chinese Exim Bank are intended to make it easier for Chinese and Austrian companies to carry out joint projects abroad.

In addition to these targets, Kurz and Li have signed five “Memoranda of Understanding”. Among other things, they dealt with a cooperation between the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna (Art History Museum) and the Beijing Palace Museum, the loan of a male panda bear to the Schönbrunn Zoo and the repayment of money Austrian companies lost to fraudsters based in China. In total, the Chinese government is compensating damages amounting to €16 million.

A total of 37 heads of state and government from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America took part in the Silk Road Summit. Leading politicians of the USA, India, Japan and the large EU states – with the exception of Italy – declined the invitation.

Julia Seidl
Julia started out at "Die Presse." She went on to study "Journalism & Media Management" in Vienna and worked for several local news outlets such as ORF, Kurier and Falter before joining Metropole as online content and social media manager.

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


 

Previous articleMiss-Adventures
Next articleCatering Integration

RECENT Articles

The Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | Austria Issues Travel Warning for Spa...

Here’s all you need to know about current measures and developments, including trusted sources and tips – regularly updated.

Book Review | Daniel Kehlmann & The Power of Mockery

In Tyll, widely-acclaimed German-Austrian author Daniel Kehlmann reinvents a medieval legend to unmask the fatuity of rulers and the wisdom of tricks.

Why the EU Recovery Fund Is a Big Deal – for Europe & for the Climate

The recent budget-corona negotiations could lead to the creation of a fiscal union and a greater emphasis on sustainability.

Musical Chairs for UK-EU Expats – Grab a Seat Before the Music Stops

As the Brexit negotiations drag on, there is still no final clarity on the future of British citizens living in Europe. It is likely to be reciprocal – whatever that means. With Boris, who knows?

Max Schrems Challenges Facebook and Wins. Again.

European court ruling strikes down the transatlantic data transfer mechanism in a case initiated by the young Austrian data privacy advocate.

Vienna Takes on Airbnb Over Social Housing

After negotiations failed, the city is suing the short-term housing platform over illegal sublets in Gemeindebauten municipal apartments.
 

METROPOLE NEWSLETTER

Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.