On the occasion of the New Year 2016, I have the exquisite pleasure to wish, through the newspaper “Nine O’Clock”, a heartfelt “Happy New Year!” to all its readers. I wish Romania and the Romanian state much prosperousness and happiness and Romanian – Chinese relations to get to a higher level. Almost a year has passed since I am China’s Ambassador to Romania. I am very happy to take advantage of this opportunity to share my opinions with you, dear readers.
Many Chinese of my generation feel exquisite friendship to Romania. Last century, during the 70s and the 80s, the Romanian film “Waves of the Danube” and the famous tune “The Lark” were very well known in China. Romanian furniture could only be purchased on coupons, and the demand was higher than the supply. During those years, if you managed to find furniture made in Romania, your home turned into some sort of museum, that attracted visits by friends and relatives.
Also, in Romania, Chinese fountain pains, sports shoes and other products were very fashionable. The two countries considered each other good friends and faithful partners, they frequently helped one another and they granted each other mutual support. I feel highly honoured to work as an Ambassador in this friend state, and also, I feel a great responsibility on my shoulders.
At the time being, Romanian – Chinese relations are at a new historical starting point. The two states reached a high level of mutual political trust, the leaders of the two states conducted numerous mutual visits, and the commercial and economical cooperation is in full ascension. The two parties reached an agreement in collaboration, in fields such as electricity, infrastructure, agriculture, etc. The cultural dialogue is more lively than ever before, and the interest of Romanians in Chinese language and culture increases one day after the next.
One of my important missions is to stimulate Romanian – Chinese relations to grow from a good, already existent base, to an even more advanced level.
Throughout this year, making efforts besides my colleagues, and having an ample contact with the Romanian Presidency, with the Romanian Government, with the Parliament, with the political parties, with Ministries, with society and the business environment, I managed to actively stimulate the cooperation between China and Romania, and I also managed to gain some results.
The companies of the two states signed the memorandum of agreement on the project of the Nuclear Unit in Cernavoda, symbolizing the solid and firm steps made by the nuclear cooperation between China and Romania. The Chinese and Romanian parties signed the Document on the Mixed Company at the Rovinari steam power plant, awaiting for the official signing of the document. Three Chinese companies attended the pre-qualifying stage of investors interested to attend the project of the Tarnita – Lapusesti hydroelectric power plant with a barrier lake and qualified for the preliminary stage.
Romania also founded in China the Romanian Cultural Institute and organizes the exhibition Romanian Treasures. These fruit of cooperation make me foresee a brilliant future in Romanian – Chinese relations and also make me strongly believe that the partnership between China and Romania may stimulate common earnings and benefits.
First of all, the cooperation between China and Romania is a response to common wishes by both sides. In the year 2015, President Xi Jinping had had a meeting with his Romanian counterpart, President Klaus Iohannis, in New York. The Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Commerce and Relations with the Business Environment, Mr. Costin Borc attended the fourth edition of the Reunion of Heads of Governments between China and states of Central and Eastern Europe, as pragmatic cooperation was a highly important topic of debate for the leaders of the two states. During one year, I have met countless representatives of Chinese and Romanian companies and I have attended visits in over ten Romanian counties.
All of these gave me a strong impression, that there is an increasing enthusiasm in Romanian – Chinese cooperation. The Chinese side wishes to support the traditional Romanian – Chinese friendship by means of cooperation and the Romanian side wishes to attract Chinese investments and to stimulate the development of economy. Both sides are impatiently waiting to find even more fields of cooperation, in order to stimulate the appearance of new projects.
Second of all, the Chinese – Romanian cooperation is in harmony with the strategies of development of both China and the European Union. At the time being, China promotes the implementation of the initiative: “The Economical Belt of the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st Century”, it broadens its cooperation in the field of international production capacity, it continuously applies new concepts of development regarding innovation, harmonization and openness, and sharing the results of development, and it makes the best efforts to accomplish by all means the grandiose plan of a prosperity-based society.
On its turn, the European Union is undergoing economical relaunch and has recently proposed the “Plan of Investments for Europe”, as well as the “Strategy Europe 2020”. The Chinese -Romanian cooperation may contribute to the combination of development strategies between China and Europe.
Especially in the field of infrastructure, equipment offer and financial support from behalf of China to Romania and other Central and Eastern European countries, will help you form a grand common European market. The constructions China will build in Romania will be according to the European jurisdiction, using the standards established by the European Union.
Third of all, the Chinese – Romanian cooperation responds to Romania’s necessities of development. According to Romania’s Budget for the year 2016, the GDP will increase with 4.1 per cent and infrastructure represents a priority field of national importance.
Throughout over 30 years of reform and openness, China accumulated a vast experience in the field of infrastructure, having at this point 110,000 kilometres of highway and 16,000 of railway for high speed trains, which grants China the top position in the world. Projects in the field of nuclear energy, of hydroelectric energy, of steam energy, of highways, etc., that are under negotiations at this point between the Chinese side and the Romanian side reach a total value of several billion euro. If the Romanian side has firmly decided to allow Chinese companies to attend these projects, Romania will certainly achieve the modernization of the infrastructure system and the fast development of national economy, and its citizens may benefit of a much more comfortable life.
During the last few years, cooperation between China and Central – Eastern European countries has undergone a fast development. The bridge over Danube at Belgrade, built in partnership by China and Serbia, is already finished and available for circulation, and the Hungary – Serbia railway, built in partnership by China, Hungary and Serbia, will be finished in two years and will become an important component of the fast terrestrial and maritime route that would connect China to Europe. The aerial flight between China and the Czech Republic is already operating, and the one between China and Hungary was reopened.
“The long-term plan of cooperation between China and Central and Eastern Europe was elaborated in November 2015, which clarified the directions and priorities of the 2015-2020 time frame and has the purpose to explore even more the potential of cooperation, and also to stimulate the efficiency and qualify of the 16 + 1 cooperation mechanism. Romania is both China’s partner, its traditional friend and an important state of Central and Eastern Europe, therefore the Romanian – Chinese cooperation needs to gain more results, to contribute to the prestige of the 16 + 1 cooperation.
The Chinese side grants special attention to the development of relations with Romania and honestly hopes that, by the deepening of pragmatic cooperation between China and Romania, real benefits would be generated for the people of both countries.
President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang have emphasised countless times how much the Chinese nation appreciates the friendship with the Romanian nation and the Chinese side wishes that, besides the Romanian side, as part of the initiative “The Belt and the Road”, they would consolidate cooperation in the field of energy, infrastructure and many more, to stimulate the increase of progress in some of these key projects. Chinese companies have a great enthusiasm in gaining contracts for grand projects in Romania, companies such as China General Nuclear Power Corporation, Huadian, Huawei, ZTE, China’s Development Bank and many more have already opened offices or branches in Romania. The Chinese – Romanian cooperation is at this point during a stage of promising acceleration.
In order to stimulate the progresses of Romanian – Chinese cooperation in grand projects, I suggest both sides to focus their efforts in the following directions:
First of all, to increase will and determination. The relations between the two states are based on solid ground. The Chinese side is highly confident that the Romanian – Chinese partnership will be certainly fruitful and generate positive results.
The Romanian Government and companies should also trust, without any hesitation, the success of the bilateral cooperation and be completely confident in the competence and capacity of Chinese companies.
In the year 2004, China and Romania agreed to collaborate on projects related to the CDMA network, the bridge over Danube and the Bucharest Belt and yet, out of various reasons, these projects were abandoned afterwards. We hope that these incidents would not occur any more.
Second, we hope both parties will find the courage to start out on new roads. Grand projects presently negotiated are, most of them, works of a massive budget and long term, that involve a series of matters such as: rules, legislative stipulations, mutual knowledge of the other’s skills and capacities, etc.
The two sides must guide themselves by the slogan “Time Waits for No One” and to try initiating all these projects in a year or two and thus create an example for the rest of collaboration fields.
Third, perturbation must disappear. Throughout this year, I have also heard some unharmonic voices, claiming that a small number of persons are unwilling to allow Chinese companies to attend Romanian projects, nor the opposite, or are viewing China in a bad colour, which is not precisely a wise gesture. The Chinese industry of manufacturing equipment has a strong integrating capacity.
The quality ・ ratio price is competitive, and also, the Chinese manufacturing industry has also assimilated some of the advanced technologies of developed countries. Countless Romanian friends visited China, traveled with the Chinese high speed trains, experienced the speed and comfort of intercity highways in China and these friends have an important word to say on Chinese ・ Romanian cooperation.
Although China and Romania are far apart, and despite of the differences between the two countries at the level of the social system, of history and culture, of laws and other fields, China is fully able to help Romanian friends achieve the development of their country and the modernization of infrastructure. China truly wishes to make the “Chinese miracle” bring benefit to the Romanian nation as well.
In the last few years, Chinese companies, as a result of purchasing American and Kazakh companies, have managed to gain an indirect collaboration with the Romanian side in the field of meat processing, of electricity, etc. Nonetheless, I would prefer to see direct cooperation between China and Romania and, most of all, I would love all big projects to make concrete progresses.
The year 2016 is the first year in China’s 13th five-year plan, and plans such as Innovation and Creativity, “Made in China 2025”, etc. will stimulate the complete makeover of the traditional handmade Chinese industry into a completely modern one. In the year 2018, Romania will celebrate 100 years from the Great Union and the next years will represent a key period in national development. The development strategies of the two countries are in perfect harmony, and the ideals of the two nations are also based on affinity, which represents a rare opportunity for the vast thoroughness of the development of bilateral relations. We must value the Chinese – Romanian opportunities of collaboration we have in the present, to show enough courage and to accelerate the progress of pragmatic cooperation in fields such as electricity, infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, etc., to promote projects together, to enjoy their results together, and thus to innoculate a new vitality to the traditional friendship of the two states.