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H. E. Xu Feihong, Chinese Ambassador to Romania: Jointly Opening a New Chapter in China-Romania Friendship, Cooperation, and Common Development

On the occasion of 66th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Romania, I am very pleased to write this message for ‘Nine O’ Clock’ Newspaper, to both recall the course that New China have traversed and look into the bright future of China-Romania relations.

In the past 66 years since the founding of New China, particularly in the past 37 years since the reform and opening up policy was introduced, there have been tremendous changes in the development of the Chinese economy and society.

Firstly, this is reflected in the economic field. With more than thirty consecutive years of high-speed economic growth, China has become the biggest goods trader, the second largest economy and the third largest investor in the world. In 2014, China’s GDP topped $10 trillion, a hundredfold increase compared with year 1949 when New China was founded. Meanwhile, China’s overseas investment exceeded $100 billion with a contribution of 30 per cent to world economy. In this first half of 2015, despite the gloomy economic situation in the world, China’s GDP grew by seven per cent, obtaining uneasy achievements. As the new season of the Chinese economic miracle, one of better quality and higher efficiency, is unveiled, we will focus on accelerating the shift of the growth model and structural readjustment.

Secondly, the Chinese society registered an overall progress. Democracy and the rule of law are highly respected. The living standard of the people has been improved notably, realising a leap of historical significance, from poverty to mere subsistence and then to overall moderate prosperity. The average per capita GDP went up from $35 to $7500 during the past 66 years.

Thirdly, China will stick to the path of peaceful development by contributing to safeguarding world peace. Recently, China solemnly commemorated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. As a responsible developing country, China is committed to promoting extensive international cooperation, taking an active part in peace-keeping operations, international and regional affairs, defending world peace and promoting common development.

Romania was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with New China. In 1949, China and Romania officially established diplomatic ties. In the past 66 years, China-Romania bilateral relations successfully stood the test of times. Both sides shared together weals and woes and maintained mutual understanding and respect. China-Romania relations can be viewed as the model of friendly cooperation between two states which seek common ground while putting aside divergences. In 2003, China and Romania established the Comprehensive Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation. The political mutual trust has been deepened constantly. The economic and trade, people-to-people, cultural and local contacts and exchanges are becoming increasingly closer.

In this new historical era, the pragmatic cooperation in China-Romania relations is more prominent. In 2013, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended the Meeting of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries and paid an official visit to Romania. The leaders of the two countries reached broad consensus on bilateral cooperation in the fields of commerce and trade, energy, infrastructure, culture and people-to-people exchanges. In 2014, the trade volume between China and Romania reached $4.75 billion, an increase by 17.8 per cent compared with the same period of the previous year. China has already become Romania’s largest trade partner in Asia and the second largest exporter outside the European Union. This year, a Chinese company successfully started an affordable housing project in Craiova. The Romanian Cultural Institute was inaugurated in Beijing, and the preparation of the Chinese Cultural Institute in Romania made continuous progress. The expositions of Chinese culture, coins and paintings have attracted a great many Romanian visitors. The Confucius Institutes and Chinese classes are well-received in Romania, constantly raising the Romanians’ interest in China. The Fourth Meeting of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries will be held in China very soon. I am convinced that more bilateral cooperative projects will be agreed on, which will further benefit both Chinese and Romanian peoples.

Looking into the future, the cooperation between China and Romania is facing wider prospects. The traditional friendship between the two countries primarily laid a solid mass basis for bilateral cooperation. Moreover, there are many complementary advantages in China-Romania cooperation. Romania enjoys rich resources, high-caliber labour and solid industrial and agricultural foundation, while China has a large market, fairly advanced equipment manufacturing industry, big building capacities for infrastructure and generally adequate funding. Romania’s potential for development and China’s production capacity will serve as two driving forces for the cooperation. Last but not least, China’s development will bring new opportunities to Romania. China is accelerating the building of the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ by enhancing policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bond, building an economic sphere connecting Asia-Pacific and Europe. China is willing to deepen regional cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road and bring benefits to people in the region. Romania is very welcome to get on board the express train of China’s development, actively participating in the Belt and Road Initiative.

In the nine months since I took office as the Chinese Ambassador to Romania, I visited many places in Romania and made a great many friends. I am willing to make concerted efforts with all Romanian friends to further promote the bilateral relations, so that the pragmatic cooperation between China and Romania may produce more fruitful results.

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