PM Ponta proposes Romania-China strategic partnership

The Romanian Premier met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta proposed Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang that the relation between Romania and China be raised to a strategic partnership level, in the context in which next year the two countries celebrate 65 years of bilateral diplomatic relations.
‘Such a strategic partnership supposes many areas, starting from the political collaboration, obviously, the economic cooperation is the most significant, but the cooperation in the cultural, educational and other areas is also important. (…) The President and the Prime Minister said that they appreciated very much this proposal, that they welcomed it and that, obviously, we entered the assessment procedure, a standard diplomatic procedure to finalise it,’ the Romanian Premier pointed out, in a press statement held in Beijing.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta was received, on Tuesday, by the President of the Republic of China, Xi Jinping, conveying to him best thoughts on the part of Romania and expressed the wish to continue the ‘extraordinary relationship’ with this country.
‘We discussed, together with the President, especially the political relation between our countries, I repeat it, at bilateral and international level, and also the manner in which Romania, in its capacity as an EU member states, is a serious partner for China. With the Prime Minister, as it was normal, we discussed more concrete things, about the economic projects, about his Excellency’s proposal that we should establish earlier, maybe even in September, the joint economic commission, with all these pending projects we have,’ said Ponta.
He emphasized that, over the years, for the Chinese leaders Romania has been a special friend, expressing wish that this privileged relationship will continue for a long time.
In another development, PM Victor Ponta said he wants the Romanian Cultural Institute to open a branch in Beijing.
‘I want us, this year, to open the Romanian Cultural Institute in Beijing, to have Confucius Institute in Bucharest, to increase the number of scholarships for the Romanian students coming to study in China and also for those coming from China to Romania. /…/ I also raised the issue of the access of the Romanian foodstuffs and agri-foodstuffs in the market of China’, the prime minister said after meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
The Romanian head of Government said he and the Chinese counterpart also tackled the cooperation projects on energy and communication technology.
During a televised intervention on Monday, Ponta said Romania and China still have a special relationship, which should capitalized upon in economic terms.
‘There is an old relationship between China and Romania, a relationship we didn’t much tend to in recent years, exactly when China developed at the fastest pace. (…) The fact that now, just two or three months after the new leaders, the new President and the new Prime Minister have taken power, Romania has somehow ‘skipped the queue’ – because you realize that from America to Europe, everyone wants to come to Beijing – is a sign that we still have a special relationship and we need to use it,’ Victor Ponta told Antena 3 television broadcaster.
In his opinion, Romania could act as a real gateway to Europe for China, and significant investments could flow to our country if this happened.
Among the projects that could attract significant funding from China are Reactors 3 and 4 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, with the Romanian party willing to give up the majority stake, should the completion of the investment generate concrete interest.
Minister Delegate for Infrastructure Projects and Foreign Investments Dan Sova on Tuesday signed a memorandum of partnership with China Development Bank, the second bank in China, as transaction volume, but the first concerning investments abroad.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta was on an Asian tour, starting June 26 through July 3, which also included Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

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