HOME > Ambassador > Events
Remarks by Ambassador Xu Erwen at the Seminar for Prefects and Mayors of Croatia to Visit China
2019-10-29 17:41

Dear Distinguished Prefects and Mayors,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dobra dan!

I am very delighted to host this seminar today at our embassy in honor of Croatian prefects and mayors who are going to China to participate in the seminar on government and governance. It's my real pleasure and honor to get to know so many distinguished friends present here today. First of all, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to you on behalf of our embassy. I want to express my appreciation to all the friends present here today for your support to the development of China and Croatia relationship and for your interest in China.

Before you kick off your visit to China, I would like to take this precious opportunity to give you a briefing about China and the opportunities we are faced in our bilateral relationship and cooperations.

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China. The past seven decades have witnessed China's historical transformation. Once a weak and poor nation scarred by humiliation from foreign aggression, civil war and chaos has stood up, getting rich and strong and has become the world second largest economy, the largest manufacturing country with the most complete category, the largest trader of goods, the major trading partner with more than 130 countries, the second largest consumer, the largest foreign exchange reserves. We have lifted over 800 million people out of poverty, contributing over 70 percent to the global poverty reduction.

China has 23 provinces including Taiwan, 4 metropolitan cities , 5 autonomous regions including Xingjiang and Tibet and 2 special administrative regions (SAR) - HK and Macao. China has been resolute in its resolve to uphold its sovereignty, security and core interests. We strongly oppose outside interference of our internal affairs and strongly oppose those people who are against China under the camouflage of human rights, freedom of speech or freedom of demonstration etc and using double standard to reach their political purposes. Taiwan is inalienable part of China. We adhere to one China principle and combat and contain any separatist forces. The complete unification of China is inevitable, which no one can stop. Now China is faced with more bright prospect than never before to realize China dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Along the way, China has not only taken a huge leap in its own development, but also made significant contribution to the world. Since the reform and opening-up policy, China has made over $1.2 trillion of direct outbound investment. In the years following the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China contributed to over 30 percent of global growth every year on average, which is combined total of US, Japan and Europe. China is already the second largest funding contributor to United Nations and United Nations peacekeeping operations, and has paid in full and has never been in arrears. China has been a builder of world peace, contributor of the world growth and defender of the world order.

The past 7 decade's miracle of the PRC has not been given by someone but achieved by the Chinese people through their hard work, vision, courage, reform and innovation under the leadership of the CPC. China stays true to the founding mission of Communist Party of China, uphold the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and be guided by a people-centered development philosophy. In this process, we have taken a realistic and pragmatic approach. We are confident in our path, theory, system and culture. Because we believe this is a right path that fits it's conditions and is in keeping with the trend of the times. And we will further improve and enrich socialism with distinctive Chinese features through reform and opening-up. and will steadily forge ahead along this path.

Now, China is in very important period of another round of reform and opening-up and pushes forward its economy towards high quality development, economic structure adjustment and institutional innovation. Faced with greater instability, uncertainties and downward pressure in world economy, our economy has enjoyed a sound momentum of stable growth. Our economic performance is sound and stable is expected to grow at 6.2% this year. In the coming 15 years, China's import of goods and services are expected to exceed US$30 trillion and US$10 trillion respectively. China will continue to promote opening-up across the board, advance international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, upgrade an open world economy, and work for a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation and work together with other countries to build a community of a shared future for mankind featuring long-lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, open and inclusiveness, as well as clean and beautiful world. China's development is an opportunity for the world. President Xi Jinping repeatedly and solemnly stated that committed to the path of peaceful development, China will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence no matter how the international situation changes or how developed it may become. We welcome the people of the other countries including Croatia aboard the express train of China's development and sincerely wish all of them a better future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In recent years, China-Croatia bilateral relationship based on mutual respect, equality and benefit has maintained strong momentum and entered a diamond-like development period. Both countries have enjoyed frequent high-level exchanges of visits. Last year, Prime Minister Mr. Andrej Plenkovic paid a successful official visit to China for the 1st China International Import Expo. This April, Premier Li Keqiang visited Croatia and attended the 8th Summit of Heads of Government of China and Central and Eastern European Countries.

The pragmatic cooperation between our two countries has been growing quickly. The bilateral trade was increased by 16.2% last year. The Peljesac Bridge being built by China Road and Bridge Corporation, marks a historic breakthrough in the cooperation between our two countries, and also creates a model of trilateral cooperation among China, Croatia and EU. This April, Huawei signed two memorandums of understanding with Croatian Central State Office for Digital Society Development. In addition, China Camel Group invested in Rimac, China Norinco International invested in Senj wind power project etc., all of which are important elements of economic and trade cooperation between our two countries.

The story of bilateral people-to-people exchange is writing a new chapter. In 2018, the number of visitors from China to Croatia reached around 240,000, with a more than 40% year-on-year growth. This year this figure will hit a new high. Croatia is becoming one of the most popular destinations among Central and Eastern European countries for Chinese tourists. This year is also China and Croatia Year of Culture and Tourism with a series of wonderful events and activities, which provided various platforms for closer people-to-people ties between our two countries.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Local cooperation has always been an important part of China-Croatia relations, a vital growth point for the two countries' pragmatic cooperation, as well as a significant platform for the people of both sides to enhance understanding and friendship.

The differences among provinces and cities create the complementarity of China-Croatia cooperation, and serve as the driving force for the sustainable development of our bilateral relations.

The commonality of the development of each province, county and city has shaped the centripetal force of China-Croatia cooperation and built a common vision for the two countries to advance together. At present, Although China and Croatia are not exactly on the same phase of development, not to mention the bigger differences in various regions , we are still facing a series of common issues – How to promote a balanced development of different regions? How to balance economic growth and environment protection? How to deal with the pressure of population shrinks and aging? How to meet the opportunities and challenges brought by digitalization? How to embrace globalization while maintain our own cultural features? These questions are waiting for us to think and answer together.

More than 40 years ago, through the implementation of the Household Responsibility System and the establishment of coastal Special Economic Zones, China's reform and opening up began at the local level and injected inexhaustible impetus into national development. Today, in a world full of uncertainty, openness, dialogue and cooperation are the only ways for countries and regions to develop and progress.

China and Croatia have great potential for cooperation in infrastructure, clean energy, agriculture, culture, education, sports, tourism, health, digitalization and so on. I believe that with China's new round of reform and opening up, the counties and cities of Croatia will further benefit from the cooperation with China. The Dao De Jing said "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"; the West often says "think big, do small". I quote these two sayings and sincerely hope the local levels of our two countries will start from small things and start from today, to strengthen mutual communication, promote pragmatic cooperation, to jointly achieve innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development and to contribute to a more fruitful China-Croatia Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership.

Finally, I wish you all the best for your trip to China!

Thank you!

Suggest To A Friend: