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March 1, 2021

PM Ponta returns from China

He met on Tuesday the president of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and was welcomed on Monday by the Chinese PM Li Keqiang during an official ceremony with military honours.

Romanian premier Victor Ponta returned yesterday from his two-day visit to China where he was had a series of meetings with the Chinese leaders. Ponta was received on Tuesday by the president of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and in Fujian hall of the Great Hall of the People, with the Chinese leader underscoring the constant positions voiced by Romania during 65 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“Your visit concurs with the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Romania and also ten years since the setting up of the broad friendship and cooperation partnership having special significance. (…) Over the years, the two sides have treated each other with mutual respect, sincerity, common responsibility in the face of hardship and trials. The bilateral relations have been maintained with a view to achieving stable and sound development. As regards the fundamental problems and major interests of China, Romania has constantly supported the policies for one China, permanently rendering firm support to China’s position. The Chinese side highly appreciates this regard,” Xi Jinping said during the talks held with the two official delegations attending.
The Chinese president recalled the visit he paid to Europe in March, on which occasion a broad consensus with the European Union leaders was reached with respect to four key elements of the Chinese-European partnership: peace, economic growth, reform, civilisation as well as mingling the two markets, China and Europe.
Ponta, in turn, said the official meetings he had in the People’s Republic of China prove the extremely high level of the relations between the two countries. He stressed that the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties represents a period of time during which Romania and China have always showed respect and friendship. “We are watching with very much attention and admiration the efforts China is making to further develop, to apply reforms, to ensure the welfare of the entire people, the most populous in the world,” he said.
The Romanian prime minister underscored the China-EU strategic partnership is an axis of peace, progress and understanding, an example for the whole humankind.
Ponta then had a meeting with Zhang Dejiang, the President of the NPC Standing Committee and a member in the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee. The Romanian PM said that the Governments of Romania and China are looking into plans to build a high-speed rail on the route Bucharest-Iasi-Chisinau which is an alternative to a previously considered project envisaging the Bucharest-Constanta route. On the other hand, Craiova (southern Romania) is the first Romanian local administration that signed a financing contract with a Chinese company, Mayor Lia Olguta Vasilescu announced on Monday in Beijing, after she signed a memorandum for the building of several homes in the seat City of Dolj County.
The Romanian Prime Minister was welcomed on Monday by the Chinese PM Li Keqiang during an official ceremony with military honours held in Tiananmen Square outside the Building of the Great Hall of the People.
Ponta and Li then had talks with the Romanian and Chinese official delegations also attending. “The bilateral activities, including last year’s visit paid by the Chinese premier to Romania play an important role in the bilateral relations for the promotion of the collaboration between China and the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) countries, between China and Europe. I am convinced your visit today will play an important role in the promotion of the Chinese-European relations and at the same time in the promotion of the relations between China and the CEE,” Li stressed. Chinese PM Li Keqiang expressed his conviction that Ponta’s visit to China is important for promoting China-Europe relations.
The exceptional political relations between China and Romania, the two states’ 65-year long tradition of diplomatic and political relations, allow us to consider major economic projects, especially in agriculture, energy and infrastructure, Premier Victor Ponta told the economic meeting in Beijing that gathered representatives of the major Chinese companies and banks that run business in Romania or plan to invest here.
“I am in China for the second consecutive year. This time, accompanied by members of the Romanian Government, because beyond the exceptional political relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Romania, we want to develop – with your help – the economic relationship between the two countries. Not only is Romania the seventh country in the EU28 in terms of population, but it also holds a strategic position on the eastern border of the European Union, having Constanta, the largest Black Sea port, as an asset, since this could be the hub that could concentrate a substantial part of our trade relations with China. Just as I said at the meeting in Bucharest with Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Romania wants to be the most important gateway to the European Union for Europe – China commercial exchanges,” the Romanian Prime Minister explained.
Ponta said that in economic terms, Romania had in 2013 the highest economic growth of all EU countries. “I know that an increase of 3.5 percent is not impressive to China, that sets itself at least a double target every year, but it is important that this growth also relied on the development of Romania’s relations with China,” the Premier said.
Victor Ponta stressed that the main strategic directions of economic development and the areas where joint projects can be developed with Chinese companies are agriculture, energy and transport.
PNL, PMP attack Ponta over China visit
The National Liberal Party (PNL) demanded yesterday to PM Victor Ponta to retract his recent statement regarding his admiration for the Chinese Communist Party  and to publicly present his apologies, as his assertions represent “an act of disdain to the victims of the communist regime”.
The premier did not receive critics only from PNL, the president of PMP being also displeased with his visit to China. The Popular Movement Party’s  (PMP) president Elena Udrea accused PM Ponta that “he wanders through China” and, “following the steps of Adrian Nastase”, he buys “furniture and paintings”, but that “he does nothing else for Romania”. Udrea said on Monday in a press conference in Cluj, that it would be good to have a strong economic relationship with China, but, apart from words and promises, “Ponta is not capable of anything.”

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