|Speech by H.E. Xu Feihong, Ambassador of China to Romania at the "Silk Road Romanian Forum"|
|(19 December 2017)|
Respected Former President Emil Constantinescu, Former Prime Minister Victor Ponta, Former Minister, Rector Remus Pricopie, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mihai Daraban,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning! It’s my great pleasure to attend the Silk Road Romanian Forum, co-hosted by the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), and the Black Sea Regional Projects 2020 (BSRP2020).
As the year 2017 comes to an end, we find ourselves at a time of reflection on a successful year.
Here I would like to highlight three landmark events in China. One was the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in October, which established the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and opened up new horizons for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. This has given Chinese answers to the serious questions confronting the world. That is to say, China believes it is essential to advance peace, development and win-win cooperation, foster a new form of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind, opening China wider to the outside world, deepening the cooperation with other countries, and advancing the Belt and Road Initiative at a faster pace.
The second event was the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting held at the beginning of this month. Over 600 representatives from nearly 300 political parties and organizations of 120 countries, including the National Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party of Romania, gathered in Beijing, with the aim of deepening cooperation among different party entities, as well as working together towards a community with a shared future for humanity and a better world. It was the first time for the CPC to hold a high-level meeting with various political parties all around the world, and became the most highly attended meeting ever by leaders of world political parties. The Beijing Initiative issued after the meeting highlighted that lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity have increasingly become the aspiration of people worldwide for a better future, and it's the unshakable responsibility and mission of political parties to steer the world in this direction.
The third event was the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in May. The heads of state and government from 29 foreign countries, senior representatives from over 130 countries, including Romanian Vice Prime Minister Gavrilescu, attended the event. It became the most extensively attended and most highly represented multilateral diplomatic event that China had initiated and hosted. And it produced a broad consensus among the nations from across the world on jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative.
Today’s forum offers us great opportunities to talk about China-Romania cooperation in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. We all know that the Ancient Silk Road played an indispensable role in the history of human civilizations. Over 2,000 years ago, our ancestors, trekking across vast steppes and deserts, opened the transcontinental passage connecting Asia, Europe and Africa, opening windows of friendly engagement among nations and adding a splendid chapter to the history of human progress. Spanning thousands of miles and years, the ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit.
Today when we talk about the Silk Road, we are referring to “the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road”, namely the Belt and Road Initiative for short. The Belt and Road initiative originated in China, but it has delivered benefits well beyond its borders. In the past four years since President Xi Jinping put it forward, this major initiative has been translated from an envisioned concept into real action and progress on the ground. The initiative has delivered real benefits through win-win cooperation and attracted extensive attention and participation. More and more countries are looking to China with high expectation for cooperation opportunities under the Belt and Road framework.
Romania is one of the countries along the Belt and Road routes. We have great potentials and opportunities to deepen bilateral relations. China will open arms to Romania and welcome you aboard the express train of China’s development. We truly hope that China’s development will bring more benefits to Romania.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of both sides, substantive progress has been made in China-Romania cooperation in the Belt and Road framework, especially in cooperation on major projects. However, China-Romania cooperation potential is far beyond the results we’ve achieved. Bilateral trade volume has not reached the level of our aspiration. Due to some complicated reasons, no China-Romania key economic project has started its construction, and no Chinese company has yet won tenders for Romanian infrastructure projects such as motorways and railways.
Next step, both sides need to show more confidence, to tap the potential and seek appropriate methods. And I think we can push forward the mutual beneficial cooperation through the following aspects:
First and foremost, further promote the alignment of our strategies for development. Romania has become the fastest growing economy in the EU, with 7 per cent GDP growth in the first three quarters. You’ve formulated national strategies in the fields of energy, infrastructure, digital technology, public health and regional development. You’ve set up several regional development strategies based on Romania’s distinctive geographic advantages –adjoining to the Black Sea and bridging Asia and Europe. Some Romanian organizations with long-term vision have been aware of it very early on and committed themselves to make full use of it, such as the Advanced Study Institute for the Culture and Civilization for Levant, the BSRP, the SNSPA, and so forth. The location of your country is one of the most exceptional advantages to join the Belt and Road Initiative. Both sides can speed up the alignment of development strategies, building an important “interface” for the Belt and Road Initiative to join in the European economic circle, so as to achieve complementary, win-win and common development.
Besides, promote the synergy of existing cooperation mechanisms. As an important part of the Belt and Road initiative, China – Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) cooperation provides a great stage to the countries in this region. The heads of government of China and CEECs meet every year since 2012, and many mechanisms of collaboration and exchanges have been set up in this framework. Both China and Romania have great sincerity in cooperation, we need to speed up negotiations, expand consensus, consolidate the achievements we have already agreed on and strive for a new pace. What’s more, new potential need to be tapped, especially the cooperation between SMEs, local authorities and in the field of infrastructure, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Last but not least, fully mobilize and rally the public support. We enjoy a decades-long traditional friendship and solid public support, which is rarely seen in international relations. Both sides may make full use of this advantage to enhance mutual understanding and consolidate the basis for further cooperation. In this regard, not only the governments, but also civil organizations, academic institutions, think tanks, chambers of commerce and all the friends like you, can play an even more active role. China and Romania as “friends in need and friends in deed” will surely enrich the connotation of our comprehensive and friendly cooperative relationship.
In the coming year, the Chinese Embassy will continue to closely collaborate with you to make China-Romania relations more productive, bringing greater contribution to pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative.