Speech by Ambassador Xu Erwen of Croatia at China-CEEC Cooperation Video Dialogue.

【Information sources:Embassy in Croatia】【Information time:2021/7/9 12:22:00 Reading times: 988 】 【Close】

Your Excellency, Mr. Josipovic, former President of the Republic of Croatia,

Your Excellency, Mr. Arlovic, former Vice Speaker of the Croatia Parliament,

Your Excellency, Mr. Simonic, former Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia,

Distinguished President Karafilipovic,

Dear Friends of the Croatian Friendship Societies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning, everyone!

It is so good to see you again on the cloud. It always gives me great pleasure to have dialogue with friends who have long been committed to China-Croatia friendship. Today I am particularly happy to discuss such important topics as advancing China-Croatia relations and cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC). First of all, I wish to thank all the friends present here today for your tireless efforts and important contributions to advancing China-Croatia and China-EU relations as well as China -CEEC cooperation in various fields. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your letters of congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

In recent years, China-Croatia relations have maintained high-level and all-round development. The experiences drawing from this is mutually respecting each other's core interest and major concerns, treating each other equally and benefiting each other. The two countries have kept long-term exchanges on governance, respected each other's choice of development path and deepened political mutual trust. Driven by the Belt and Road initiative and cooperation between China and CEECs, China-Croatia practical cooperation has entered a new stage of accelerated and upgraded development. Chinese enterprises are using the best and most advanced technology and equipment in the world to turn major China-Croatia cooperation projects, such as the Peljesac Bridge and Senj Wind Power, into high-quality projects. Since last year, in the face of the epidemic of the century, China and Croatia have worked hand in hand to help each other and fight against the pandemic. The diamond-like friendship between the two countries has blossomed into new brilliance. This May, Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, paid a successful visit to Croatia. He discussed development with Croatian leaders and injected new impetus into China-Croatia and China-EU relations.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Croatia. One hundred years is in the prime of life, thirty is just and promising. Facing a world situation unseen for a century, China looks forward to working with Croatia to do a good job in top-level designs for bilateral relations, deepen exchanges and cooperation in infrastructure construction, scientific and technological innovation, green energy, agriculture, tourism, sports and medical and health care, taking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to push for greater development of bilateral relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Recently, there has been an increase in discussions on China-CEEC cooperation. Here, I would like to brief you on the latest progress of China-CEEC cooperation and my views on the development of this mechanism.

In February this year, President of the People’s republic of China Xi Jinping hosted the China-CEEC Summit in Beijing. This is the highest-level leaders' meeting between China and CEE countries since the establishment of the cooperation mechanism. It was also an important international multilateral event held against the backdrop of the global joint fight against COVID-19. It has injected new impetus and has brought new opportunities to China-CEEC cooperation under the new circumstances. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic attended the Summit and delivered an excellent speech, making positive contributions to the success of the Summit.

At the Summit, President Xi Jinping pointed out that China-CEEC cooperation has stood the test of time and intricate changes in the international landscape. It has developed some principles that are reflective of its distinctive features and accepted by all parties. First, China-CEEC cooperation is based on mutual respect and has no political strings attached. All countries involved, regardless of their size, are equal partners in a cooperation mechanism featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Second, with its focus on real results, China-CEEC cooperation has served the purpose of supporting our respective development and bettering the lives of our people. Third, pursuing common development through openness and inclusiveness. Fourth, achieving bigger growth through innovation.

During the Summit, at the urging of President Xi Jinping, taking into account the characteristics and needs of our cooperation, the international situation and the current China-EU relations, the leaders of various countries put forward their ideas and suggestions, jointly identified four cooperation priorities, namely, solidarity in fighting the epidemic, practical cooperation, connectivity and green innovation, and adopted the Beijing Activity Plan for Cooperation between China and CEE countries in 2021, which sets out the direction and path for our cooperation in the next stage.

The 2nd China-CEEC Expo and International Consumer Goods Expo was successfully held in Ningbo last month. President Xi Jinping said the Expo will help the Chinese market learn more about the commodities from the CEEC, expand CEEC's exports to China, and help all parties respond to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and promote the economic recovery. We are also glad to see that Croatian goods are well received by Chinese buyers and there is huge potential to explore the Chinese market.

A review of the nine years of cooperation between China and CEE countries shows that the China-CEEC cooperation mechanism has provided cooperation opportunities for all parties involved and brought benefits to the people of all countries. Today, trade between China and CEE countries is nearly 85 percent bigger than nine years ago, the number of mutual tourist visits has grown nearly four times, impressive progress has been made in a number of cooperation projects, including the Pelje?ac Bridge. President Xi Jinping also announced at the summit that China intends to import, in the coming five years, more than 170 billion US dollars of goods from CEE countries, which will present immense opportunities for high-quality development of all parties, including Croatia.

We are pleased to see that Croatia has always firmly supported and actively participated in China-CEEC cooperation, and has played an important leading role in the areas of economy, trade, investment, cultural and tourism, especially as the leading role of the the 17+1 SME Coordination Mechanism, and in promoting the export of quality products, including Croatian agricultural products. China looks forward to working with Croatia and other CEE countries to further enhance mutual trust, build consensus and expand cooperation so as to take China-CEEC cooperation to a new level. China also welcomes Croatia to play a greater positive role in cooperation between China and CEECs in light of its own characteristics.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the Summit In February this year, President Xi Jinping pointed out that the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are a good opportunity for strengthening China-CEEC cooperation in the sports field. In February and March next year, Beijing will host the 24th Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Beijing will be the first city in Olympic history to host both the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. At present, China is going all out to advance the preparatory work. Croatia and other countries as well as the vast number of winter sports lovers are full of expectations for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. I would like to take this opportunity to brief you on the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Against the backdrop of the worldwide spread of COVID-19 and its huge impact on the world economy, hosting the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing as scheduled will inject more positive energy into the development of China and the world and bring more confidence to people around the world, which is of great significance. President Xi stressed that China is confident in successfully holding the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics on scheduled and is ready to work with the International Olympic Committee and the international community to ensure that the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics will be a simple, safe and wonderful Olympic event. This is the solemn commitment of the Chinese government and people to the international Olympic family.

The Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics are grand events for all countries and a stage of fair competition for athletes from all over the world. The IOC is committed to adhere to the Olympic Charter, opposes politicization of the Olympic Movement, and stands ready to continue its close cooperation with China and fully support China in hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics as scheduled. The IOC believes that the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics will show the world the power of example in fighting the pandemic, promote the global development of winter sports, and make important contributions to the development of the Olympic movement.

Croatia is a leading sporting nation and has rich experience in the development of sports, and has strong strengths in football, tennis, water polo, handball and winter sports. Sports are an integral part of the daily life of the Croatian people. China is ready to work with Croatia to overcome the impact of the pandemic, further enhance exchanges and mutual learning on the development of sports, deepen cooperation on the Winter Olympics and winter sports and fully unleash the potential of bilateral sports cooperation. China will also provide support and guarantee for Croatia and other countries to participate in the Games. We welcome more outstanding athletes to gather in Beijing and make great achievements.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To push forward China-Croatia relations and cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries requires the care and support of people from all sectors of society, including all of you present here today. Let us join hands to solve problems in the course of development, lift China-Croatia relations to a new level in the post-pandemic era, push forward the Belt and Road initiative and China-CEEC cooperation, and work tirelessly for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Thank you very much!

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