STOCKHOLM, May 31,(Greenpost) — Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou made a key note speech titled Jointly Build a High Quality Belt and Road for a Future of Sustainable Development. The whole text is as the following:
Excellences, experts, scholars and friends from the business community,
Last month, the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing, leading the joint efforts to build a high quality Belt and Road into a new stage. Today’s seminar hosted by the BRIX group is very timely and relevant, and will certainly promote China-Sweden “Belt and Road” cooperation.
Over the past six years since President Xi Jinping proposed the “Belt and Road Initiative”, our BRI circle of friends has grown ever bigger, quality of cooperation ever better and prospects for development ever brighter. Over 150 countries and international organizations signed cooperation agreements with China to build the BRI together. Nearly 40 heads of state and government and nearly 5000 foreign participants from over 150 countries and international organizations attended the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, achieving 283 cooperation outcomes and signing contracts worth over USD 64 billion. These numbers fully demonstrate that the BRI is consistent with the trend of times and meets the need of all parties involved.
The Belt and Road is a road of open cooperation. The BRI is not a geopolitical game, nor is it an exclusive club. Instead, the BRI is based on extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and is committed to multilateralism and open world economy. The Forum in Beijing saw the signing of over 100 bilateral cooperation documents in areas like transportation, trade, technology, culture and exchanges between think tanks, the establishment of a national standards information platform among the Belt and Road partner countries, and the signing of third party market cooperation documents. The BRI is a joint project that combines our respective strengths into a synergy for shared development.
The Belt and Road is a road of sustainable development. The BRI focuses on the fundamental issue of development, and helps countries along the route to break the bottleneck of development. A World Bank study shows that BRI cooperation helps reduce the cost of global trade and increases the global economic growth by at least 0.1%. The BRI pursues high standard cooperation to improve people’s lives and promotes sustainable development. It adopts widely accepted rules and standards, contributes to job creation and poverty reduction, and ensures commercial and fiscal sustainability. It is a major contribution to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the UN. The BRI is no “debt trap”, rather it helps many countries to get out of the “trap of underdevelopment”.
The Belt and Road is a road of green and clean cooperation. The BRI pursues open, green and clean cooperation and aims to promote green development. The BRI launches green infrastructure projects, makes green investment and provides green financing to improve the ecological environment, and supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In pursuing Belt and Road cooperation, everything should be done in a transparent way, and we must have zero tolerance for corruption and show strong commitment to clean governance. During the second BRI Forum in Beijing, the BRI International Green Development Coalition was established, the Green Investment Principles for the Belt and Road Development was issued and the Beijing Initiative for Clean Silk Road was launched.
The BRI pursues openness, interconnectivity and consensus through consultation. It values integrity and follows rules. This is especially important in a world of surging protectionism and unilateralism. I know people are closely watching the trade war started by the US. The US brandishes the baton of protectionism and uses administrative means to abuse tariffs, which severely damages the norms of international trade, harms the interests of other parties and increases the uncertainties of global economy. The US also abandoned market principles, in total disregard of international rules, used executive powers to suppress Chinese companies, which we firmly oppose. The US is a “rule breaker” and a “faith breaker”. The US bears full responsibility for the trade war, as it is unilaterally started by the US. China does not want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one, and we will fight to the end. This is safeguarding our legitimate rights and interests, and also defending an open global economy and the multilateral trading system.
China and Europe are at the two ends of the Belt and Road. Europe is a natural partner and direct beneficiary of building a high quality Belt and Road. China-Europe freight trains have conducted 14,000 trips, connecting China and 50 cities in 15 European countries. The Joint statement of the 21st EU-China Summit reiterated that the two sides will continue to forge synergies between the EU strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia as well as the EU Trans-European Transport Networks and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road cooperation between China and the EU has bright prospects. It is in our mutual interests and will deliver benefits to hundreds of millions of people.
Sweden has good conditions to participate in jointly building the Belt and Road. As a firm advocate for multilateralism and free trade, Sweden has a pioneering spirit and a long line of achievements in green, innovative, open and sustainable development, which is highly compatible to the joint contribution to Belt and Road. Trade between China and Sweden has been hitting new records year after year, reaching USD 17.15 billion in 2018. China is now the largest trading partner of Sweden outside of the EU, and Sweden continues to maintain a trade surplus with China. This March, the first Nordic-China Smart City Cooperation Conference was held in Stockholm, which established a new effective platform for deepening our cooperation. There are also great prospects for China and Sweden to work together to address climate change and to carry out cooperation in third party markets. Joint contribution to the Belt and Road will undoubtedly provide a broader platform for Sweden to play its strength, and open up greater room for its development. The opportunities for China-Sweden Belt and Road cooperation are here. We welcome all sectors of Sweden to join the Belt and Road circle of friends and build a brighter future of sustainable development.
My wishes for a full success of the seminar. Thank you!
Huawei’s founder and president Ren Zhengfei is a great entrepreneur who has great vision. Compared with Trump, an entrepreneur President, Ren is greater.
Why? Because Trump house arrested Ren’s daughter. Trump was a businessman and he thinks always in economic terms. He promised he would make America greater. But what he did actually is not very good for America.
Why did America become downward? This was because of the Iraq War. If America was patient a little bit and did not invade Iraq, America would have been a great country. But due to its frequent engagement of war and conflict, it made America cost too much.
In some ways Trump was right because they don’t want to shoulder more responsibilities on the one hand and now it is obvious that he wants to slow down China’s speed of modernisation.
Facing such situation, Ren Zhengfei now faced the media. He said Huawei is in its best time thanks to American government’s pressure because all the staff are working hard now.
Without American pressure, many staff were satisfied with their situation and didn’t work as hard. So it turned out to be a good thing.
Talking about his daughter Meng Wanzhou, he said she was house arrested meaning that she can only stay in her home and her house was surrounded by the guards and she couldn’t go to other places except daily necessities.
Ren said his daughter said that she would use the time to study more and get a PhD in the house arrest situation.
Famous South African late leader Nelson Mandela studied in the prison and got a degree in economics from Great Britain.
It is very interesting to study Huawei. In fact, Huawei was established in Shenzhen, but it quickly developed abroad. From very earlier stage, it began to hire retired people for example from Ericcson, from many other western companies.
It paid greater attention to development in western countries. Thus it developed so well because its management was a good combination of east and western thinking.
Ren pointed out that China must respect teachers and raise more young talented people so that we have more young talented ones to continue to work.
He made it clear that it was the American politicians who put pressure on Huawei, but not the American companies. He stressed that he would love to continue to cooperate with western companies.
Many people think the Trump administration should not take unilateral action and should put the US China trade dispute into the WTO mechanism.
STOCKHOLM, May 29(Greenpost) — Professor Mike Danilovic from Halmstad University in Sweden said at the 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Stockholm that China has been using a holistic way in doing business with Africa and providing assistance in African countries. He mainly talked about the BRI as a business opportunity for Swedish small and medium-size companies.
He vividly described how Chinese companies deal with development issues in Africa.
Jasmine Lihua Liu, Researcher, Halmstad University/Shanghai Dianji University gave a presentation on exploring Chinese Business Culture.
Suci Ariyanti, student of Halmstad University came from Malaysia and was sent to China to study for some time. She tells her experiences in China and Sweden.
The audience gave a lot of questions and the discussion was very good.
STOCKHOLM, May 28(Greenpost International) — The Second Belt and Road Forum in Stockholm was held in Stockholm Chinese Cultural Center on May 22.
Nearly 100 participants from over 30 embassies and international organisations attended the forum organized by BRIX.
Ulf Sandmark, Chairman of Belt and Road Executive Group BRIX opened the Second Belt and Road Forum in Stockholm on May 22.
Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou made a key note speech illustrating what is Belt and Road Initiative and why Chinese President launched it. He said the Belt and Road Initiative only aims at helping developing countries that needs help to develop their economies and it is based on mutual negotiation and mutual benefit.
Pakistan Ambassador Hussain Dayo said Pakistan was very proud to be partner with China because the BRI really benefits Pakistan a lot.
Dayo said leaders agree that BRI leads to connectivity and prosperity. They also vowed to fight corruption.
STOCKHOLM，May24（Greenpost）–The 2nd Belt and Road Forum in Stockholm, held on Wednesday, May 22, in the China Cultural Center, was an exceptional event and powerful demonstration of the great interest in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and cooperation with China in Sweden, a country whose political elites and mainstream media are still skeptical and oblivious to the BRI .
The international nature of this full-day event was almost unprecedented in terms of the discussion of the BRI in this country. A sizeable portion of the foreign diplomatic corps in Stockholm turned out to discuss the outcome of the Second Belt and Road Forum for Economic Cooperation (BRF2) which took place in late April in Beijing. 33 diplomats including 13 ambassadors from four continents joined business representatives, academicians as well as one Swedish parliamentarian, a city councilman, and 4 journalists, forming an audience of over 100 persons.
The event was organized by the Belt and Road Executive Group for Sweden (BRIX), in collaboration with the China-Sweden Business Council. Ulf Sandmark, the Chairman of the BRIX, gave the opening speech of the morning session, pointing out that the BRI is not just railways or trade routes but ‘development corridors’. The BRI is definitely not any sinister military logistics system either, he said. Sandmark emphasized that “the BRI represented an opportunity for Sweden to get back to such fundamentals as respect for sovereignty, science and development of the productive powers of labor”. Joining the BRI could bring the nation of Sweden together again, Sandmark said, stressing that “it is Sweden’s greatest chance to avoid a rapid economic and social collapse”. Sweden can also make great contribution to eliminating poverty and underdevelopment if it brings its excellent industrial and technological capacity to the BRI nations.
The keynote speaker was the Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Mr Gui Congyou who reported about the massive turnout and success of the BRF2 in Beijing and the rapid growth of trade between China, the BRI countries and also Sweden. “The BRI is not a ‘debt trap’”, Ambassador Gui said. “On the contrary, many countries are stepping out of the ‘underdevelopment trap’ by participating in the BRI. Mr. Gui gave a thorough report on the progress of the BRI globally since its announcement by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Concerning Sweden, he stressed that Sweden actually has a surplus in trade against China unlike most other nations, and that this country is leading in many innovative fields of technology and industry that can benefit China and other BRI countries. At the conclusion of his speech, he again invited Sweden to join the BRI: “Building a ‘One Belt, One Road’ will definitely provide Sweden with a bigger stage to play its own advantages and open up more development space.”
Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Hussain Dayo was next speaker, giving an enthusiastic report of the transformation Pakistan is undergoing thanks to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which is in the forefront of the BRI corridors. He then showed a short film on the CPEC showing its progress and impact. A highway is linking China with the Indian Ocean harbor Gwadar, which is expanded from a fishing village to a modern deep seaport. It provides an important backdoor into China and also into the landlocked Central Asia. The roads and railways being built accelerates growth and stability in many regions in Pakistan, especially in the Western parts (Baluchistan Province) close to Afghanistan. The opening of the first coal mines and the construction of first-class coal power plants, have provided much needed power for the export-oriented textile industry.
Ambassador of Portugal, Mr. Henrique Silveira Borges thanked China for standing by his nation in the severe financial crisis 2008. “This we will never forget”, he said and reported about the MOU signed last December when Portugal joined the BRI in the presence of the President of China, Xi Jinping. Portugal has signed agreements to expand its important harbor Sines which will connect the Maritime Silk Road with the Belt of the Euro-Asian rail corridor linking Portugal to China.
A perspective of the attitude in Nordic countries towards the BRI and how it is shaped on the governmental and media level was provided by Thore Vestby, former member of the Norwegian parliament and Co-founder of Ichi Fund. He debunked many of the myths spread in the media in Norway and Sweden. He provided a description of where these come from, not from facts and research, but from a geopolitical mindset in the dominant forces in the West. He explained the great advantages Norway gained from agreeing with China on non-interference in internal affairs, ending the 7-year diplomatic and trade “freeze” China imposed on Norway after the latter awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident in 2010.
Hussein Askary, board member of the BRIX, together with Lars Aspling, a member of BRIX and Swedish entrepreneur, took turns to provide the main overview of BRI to the Forum. Aspling started with outlining the historically unprecedented industrialization process that has taken place in China in the past 30 years, without which it is very difficult to understand the BRI and China’s goals behind it. Askary presented the impact of the BRI in Africa´s transformation and joint Chinese – European cooperation projects. “There is a new Africa emerging now, and in the future will be the greatest workshop and market in the world with a 3-billion population in 2050”, Askary emphasized. Europe and Sweden are invited to participated in that great process of the industrialization of Africa, he concluded.
Aspling, concluded the session by reviewing the BRI´s connections to Europe and Sweden, urging the Swedish government to embrace the BRI.
In the intensive but very constructive discussion period, Architect Greger Ahlberg brought the question of beauty as a basis for building a new world in the context of the BRI. Ambassador Gui explained that, while China’s primary goal was to fight poverty, it is keen on preserving the beautiful culture and philosophy it has inherited through the centuries.
Many of the questions were focused on why the Swedish and many European governments are skeptical to the BRI, and how these issues can be resolved by presenting factual information and increased dialog. The last question was posed by moderator Hussein Askary to the Malaysian Ambassador, who was in the audience, to hype in the Western media about the “backlash against the BRI” using Malaysia’s recent renegotiation of some of the infrastructure projects with China as the proof.
The Ambassador, Mrs. Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib, explained in very clear terms that Malaysia maintains very strong economic ties with China and is keen on strengthening them. She informed the audience that many of the key China-Malaysia projects, like the East Coast Railway project, are going ahead. She noted that Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir ben Mohammed was one of the key guests of the BRF2 in Beijing in April.
Opening the afternoon session, Stephen Brawer, Vice-Chairman of the BRIX, brought into the discussion the importance of culture in a historical sense as a learning method, highlighting the case of Shakespear’s tragedies like Hamlet. He contrasted the recent statements of President Xi in the Conference on Asian Culture’s Dialog of Civilizations to the geopolitical mindset of the British Empire and current American neo-conservative forces. British Geopolitics sabotaged earlier visions of transcontinental land-bridges, leading to WWI. In his presentation “A Community of Shared Future for Mankind – Towards a Dialog of Cultures rather than a Clash of Civilizations”, Brawer pointed to the visions of both G.W. Leibniz and the later representatives of the American Revolution, who were intent on building cultural and physical bridges with China and Asia. He referenced the case of Governor William Gilpin, who envisioned the global transcontinental railway network in the 1880s. This policy in the end of the 19th Century was blocked by WWI orchestrated by the British geopoliticians. The current BRI might follow the same fate unless the current dangerous geopolitical games are stopped and replaced by a true dialog of civilizations.
The last speakers were led by professor Mike Danilovic, from the University of Halmstad and Shanghai Dianji University, speaking about the BRI as a business opportunity for Swedish SMEs, explaining the differences in the mentality and business models between Chinese and Swedish/European companies. He gave the audience an enlightening and entertaining reading derived from his 7 years of work between China and Sweden.
He was followed by researcher Jasmine Lihua Liu, from the same university, speaking about “Exploring Chinese Business Culture” and the kinds of pitfalls that can emerge from lack of understanding of the difference in culture, social customs and national character.
An MBA student from Halmstad University, Suci Ariyanti, gave her perspective, as an Indonesian youth, on the differences she found between Chinese/Asian culture and that of Sweden. She emphasized that we are all one humanity, with clear differences, but universal goals and aspirations.
Another intensive discussion period followed, where the perspective for future actions was laid out. For sure this Forum will raise the question of a Swedish BRI-membership to the boiling point Swedish institutions and media. The BRIX association and partners organized this seminar under the title “The Second Belt & Road Forum in Stockholm”, following up on the May 28th, 2018, Belt & Road seminar organized by the Schiller Institute with other associations.
The BRIX was formed by individuals among the speakers and guests of that 2018 seminar, who all want to promote Sweden’s participation in the Bet and Road Initiative.