This year marks the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Romania.
Since the beginning of the year, the world was swept up in an unexpected coronavirus epidemic. More than ever, we are clearly aware that mankind shares a common destiny and that we can overcome these difficulties only through solidarity and cooperation.
In the face of a sudden attack by an unknown virus, the Chinese government adheres to the principle of “people first, life first”, and adopted the most comprehensive and strict prevention and control measures to safeguard people’s lives and health at all costs, and it took more than 50 days to bring the pandemic under control. In the past six months, China has provided emergency medical supplies assistance to more than 150 countries and 4 international organizations, dispatched medical expert teams to more than 30 countries, and exported medical supplies to 200 countries and regions. More than 100 video lesson-sharing meetings have been held with many countries and regions to share experience in pandemic diagnosis and treatment, vaccine research and development cooperation has been carried out with many countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. China also announced that its vaccines, once completing research and development, will be used as a public product in order to provide assistance to developing countries.
China has achieved a key victory in the fight against the pandemic. In the meantime, it has also achieved good results in economic and social development. After a negative growth of 6.8% in the first quarter, China’s economic growth jumped by 10 percentage points in the second quarter, turning from negative to positive growth and showing the momentum of a recovery. It has become the first major economy to achieve growth after the outbreak of the COVID-19. At the same time, China continues to open wider to the world, and its global ranking of the business environment has jumped from 78th in 2018 to 31st in 2020, putting it among the top ten economies with the fastest pace of reform in the world for two consecutive years. In the first half of this year, the total value of China’s trade in goods exceeded 14 trillion yuan, and exports achieved positive growth for three consecutive months from April to June. Outbound investment made steady progress, including 57.1 billion yuan of direct non-financial investment by Chinese companies in 54 countries along the “Belt and Road” route, a year-on-year increase of 23.8%. This fully reflects the resilience of the Chinese economy. In the second half of this year, with all the potential and advantageous conditions, the Chinese economy is well on its way towards a recovery.
In the past, China and Romania have forged profound friendship in the long course of history, which has remained unchanged despite twists and turns. Today, our two countries have written a new chapter of friendship by joining efforts to fight COVID-19, carrying on the tradition of “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. At the most critical moment when China was struggling in the pandemic, Romania’s leaders sent letters of sympathy to China, and some local governments and friends donated anti-pandemic materials to China. The children of the Romanian “Allegretto” choir sang Chinese songs to cheer China up. Their songs were watched nearly 30 million times on Chinese social networks and received numerous applauses. After Romania was hit by the pandemic, various Chinese provinces and cities, overseas Chinese associations in Romania and Chinese enterprises in Romania donated a large amount of anti-pandemic materials to Romania. China has also built an “air corridor” for Romania to purchase medical supplies from China, so that more supplies could arrive in a timely and efficient manner. China has also taken the initiative to hold a number of meetings on pandemic prevention and control to share its experience without reservation so as to bring more benefits to the Romanian people. In the face of the pandemic, the traditional friendship of mutual assistance between China and Romania is once again shining in our times.
While the virus is ruthless, the people are compassionate. The pandemic has not damped the enthusiasm for exchanges and cooperation between our two countries. In the first four months of this year, Romania-China bilateral trade volume was $1.99 billion, a year-on-year increase of 6.8%, bucking the downward trend despite the pandemic. A Chinese company has signed a contract to build the Zalau Ring Road, becoming the first highway design and construction project undertaken by China in Romania through open bidding. Brand Chinese cultural events such as the “Happy Chinese New Year” and the “Chinese Season” of the Sibiu International Theatre Festival were successfully held in Romania. Our two peoples have worked together to open up new channels of exchanges, explore new areas of cooperation and increase mutual understanding. Our two countries have also strengthened communication and given each other mutual understanding and support on important international affairs.
The current world situation and international relations is facing the challenge of the pandemic and unilateralism, and undergoing profound reshaping. As the world’s largest developing country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening-up. At the same time, China will unswervingly safeguard national sovereignty and its legitimate rights and interests, and will never allow any force to deprive the Chinese people of their right to pursue development and achieve a better life. We are committed to promoting economic globalization and accelerating the formation of a new pattern of development in which both domestic and international cycles play an important role. We will further boost domestic demand, open up wider to the outside world, and share more of China’s development opportunities with the rest of the world. We will drive the world’s common recovery through self-recovery, and promote the common development of the world through self-development. In the current situation where unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise, China is ready to work with Romania and other countries to uphold multilateralism and the basic norms governing international relations, build an open world economy and provide new impetus for a better future for the people of all countries.
The COVID-19 will become a thing of the past, but cooperation will always be an ongoing thing. This year is a decisive year for China to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, and the Romanian government has taken a host of measures to revitalize the economy. I am confident that Romania will overcome the pandemic and achieve new economic and social development. It is my sincere hope that China-Romania relations will move forward steadily and the two countries will make their due contributions in promoting world economic recovery and meeting global challenges.