October 1 marks the 70th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China. Upon this date, Xuefei Chen Axelsson had an exclusive interview with Ambassador Gui Congyou on Sept. 14, 2019.
Stockholm, Sept. 16(Greenpost) – Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou has said that Chinese people under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, CPC, through unremitting efforts and hard work of the past 70 years, have experienced profound economic and social transformation from a poor and weak China to a relatively healthy wealthy society。This is a historic leap forward towards our goal of realizing the great rejuvenation of China.
Ambassador Gui made this remark during an exclusive interview with Xuefei Chen Axelsson, chief editor and founder of Green Post(www.greenpost.se) , a Swedish Chinese media aiming at promoting sustainable development in Sweden and building bridge between China and Sweden.
“Over the past 70 years, especially over the past 40 years of development, over 1.3 billion people have all used mobile phones and internet in addition to having enough food and clothes. China’s contribution to world economic development surpasses 30 percent. China continues to be the second largest destination of foreign direct investment. China becomes more open minded and more confident than before. Such a China will create more opportunities for the world. ” said Gui.
A series of figures show that Chinese people’s disposable per capita income has increased nearly 60 times more than that in 1949, 20 times more than that in 1978. China’s average life expectancy reaches 77 years old and over 800 million people have been lifted out of poverty.
“China has been a good member in safeguarding the world peace, a good peace builder, development contributor and international order keeper.”
Gui said that China has planned to completely eliminate absolute poverty by 2020 and realize modernization by 2035 and basically reach the middle developed countries level by 2050 and followed this road map to go forward step by step.
He said during this process, China also initiated the Belt and Road initiative and helped those countries who like to join this initiative and shared Chinese technologies and innovations, for example the Beidou Navigation system.
Talking about challenges ahead, Gui said the Chinese average GDP has not reached ten thousand dollars yet, which is less than 20 percent of the Swedish average GDP. Chinese development is not very balanced and western regions still need further development while eastern regions have developed much better.
By the end of next year, China still needs to eradicate the absolute poverty by 10 million people(which is equivalent almost the whole Swedish population).
Gui said China still faces the challenge of enjoying a better environment in some areas in China. But Chinese people are determined to solve its problems and challenges while developing further with higher quality. Through 70 years of development experiences, Chinese people are confident that they will realize their development goal along with achieving the United Nations 2030 development goals.
On Sino-Swedish relations, Ambassador Gui spoke highly of bilateral relations.
“About 260 years ago, Swedish Gothenburg Boat sailed to China and opened a marine route to China. Sweden became the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with China and signed technical cooperation agreements with China.”
During the new development era, China and Sweden have become the largest trade partners with each other between Nordic countries and Asia.
So far there are 9000 Chinese students studying in Sweden and becoming the largest number of overseas students group. In addition to Air China, Eastern Airline also opened direct flight between Stockholm and Shanghai coping with the increasing number of tourists. China EU express also opened its maiden voyage with Swedish timber export to China last year.
About his impression on Sweden, Ambassador Gui said that Swedish King Carl Gustav VXI told him to visit all over Sweden and have a good look when he met the King. And he did visit up north to the countryside, down to the south and east and west of Sweden. He felt Sweden is really beautiful.
He found Swedish people’s awareness of environmental protection and climate is high. And most of them are very friendly.
“I think Sweden and China are mutually complementary in green tech cooperation and environmental protection. We can deepen the cooperation in this and other fields. ” said Gui.
About the question with media, Ambassador Gui said that media is a bridge between the two sides by expressing opinions and stances of the two sides. Only when he found some media facts were not correct, he would like to point out the facts which provide with true information.
“I found those incorrect information show that the writer has never been to China or get a full picture about China. China has really made great progress over the past years. With the rapid development of new technology, such as internet and high speed train, China’s progress for the better also speeded up. Welcome Swedish media to visit China and have a good look. ” said Ambassador Gui.
Full Chinese version please see the following link.
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.
Today three women vice mayors from Hubei province talked about Belt and Road Initiative. One audience asked me, nowadays everybody talks about belt and road, even Hubei province talk about Belt and Road. I can understand when you talked about Xinjiang, it has relations with Belt and Road Initiative, but Hubei province, what relations it has with Belt and Road?
I said it has great to do with BRI. Why? Because Hubei province is in central China and called center of China. Many goods from Yiwu, Shanghai and other eastern part of China have to go through Wuhan to go westward to Xinjiang and then to Europe.
Xiangyang, Jingzhou was communication hub in ancient times. Think of the Three Kingdoms period, when Zhuge Liang from Sichuan met Zhou Yu from Zhejiang, they met in Jingzhou.
In terms of infrastructure or transportation, Wuhan has great to do with Belt and Road Initiative, no matter it is about good in land or good to be transported through the sea.
Information for this mailing list is collected by Rolf Melheim, co-author of «Høyhastighetslandet. Historier fra det moderne Kina» (256 pages), [http://www.newchinasite.wordpress.com;]http://www.newchinasite.wordpress.com; and «Porten til Midtens rike. Kinesisk mandarin» 1–3 (448 pages) with «Lærerveiledning» (Teacher’s manual 306 pages), http://www.kinesiskmandarin.wordpress.com
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivers a government work report at the opening meeting of the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 5, 2019. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BEIJING, March 5 (Greenpost) — Premier Li Keqiang admitted that China faced severe challenges caused by the growing pains of economic transformation, when delivering the government work report to the annual legislative session Tuesday.
“Looking back at the past year, we can see that our achievements did not come easily,” said Li at the opening meeting of the second annual session of the 13th National People’s Congress.
“An interlacing of old and new issues and a combination of cyclical and structural problems brought changes in what was a generally stable economic performance, some of which caused concern,” he continued.
Li said that China also faced a profound change in its external environment in 2018.
Setbacks in economic globalization, challenges to multilateralism, shocks in the international financial market, and especially the China-U.S. economic and trade frictions, had an adverse effect on the production and business operations of some companies as well as on market expectations, according to the premier.
Moreover, China was facing a complicated terrain of increasing dilemmas, with multiple targets to attain, such as ensuring stable growth and preventing risks, as well as multiple tasks to complete, like promoting economic and social development.
The country also had multiple relationships to handle, including that between short-term and long-term interests, while the difficulty of making policy choices and moving work forward increased markedly, Li said.
BEIJING, March 11 (Greenpost) — China’s draft foreign investment law is well received among foreign investors, who believe it will further improve the country’s business environment.
A new draft of the law was submitted to China’s national legislative session for a third reading last week, and has been deliberated by lawmakers and discussed by political advisors over the past few days.
The draft aims to improve the transparency of foreign investment policies and ensures that foreign-invested enterprises participate in market competition on an equal basis.
Stephan Kothrade, president functions Asia Pacific of German chemicals giant BASF, said the company welcomes the draft law, with the belief that it will help effectively address issues foreign investors face in China.
“For foreign companies in China, I think everyone is waiting for the draft law to be passed, as the law will create a level playing field where everyone can participate,” said Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China.
With unified provisions for the entry, promotion, protection, and management of foreign investment, the law is “a new and fundamental law” for China’s foreign investment and an innovative improvement of China’s foreign investment legal system.
The draft stresses more investment promotion and protection than the three existing laws, a positive signal for foreign firms in China, said Ma Zheng, vice president of the China subsidiary of the agricultural commodities trader Cargill.
Ma believes the law would provide stronger legal guarantees for foreign investors and companies to safeguard their interests. “It’s going to make China’s business environment more open, equitable and transparent for foreign firms,” he said.
By the end of 2018, about 960,000 foreign-invested enterprises had been set up in China, with the accumulated foreign direct investment exceeding 2.1 trillion U.S. dollars.
China advanced to a global ranking of 46 in terms of ease of doing business last year, up from 78 in 2017, according to a World Bank Group report released last year.
“This shows the constant improvement in our business environment, and greater progress might be made this year,” said He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission.
The new law will boost foreign investors’ confidence in China since their rights and interests will be legally protected, said Cai Hua, a national legislator and director of Wisely Law Office in Tianjin.
“A country with a relatively complete legal system will be an ideal destination for foreign investment,” Cai said.
“It will give more people confidence in China,” said Adam Dunnett, secretary general of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China. “If you’re a foreign investor, and you’re going to read a law about China, probably the first one you’re going to read is the foreign investment law.”
BEIJING, March 5 (Greenpost) — The 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, opened its second session Tuesday morning at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Xi Jinping and other leaders of the Communist Party of China and the state were present at the opening meeting, which was attended by nearly 3,000 NPC deputies.
Li Keqiang delivered the government’s work report on behalf of the State Council to the legislature for deliberation.
Li said though China faced a complicated and challenging environment rarely seen in many years with the economy under new downward pressure, the nation managed to accomplish main targets for economic and social development in 2018.
Looking to 2019, Li said it is necessary to sustain healthy economic development and maintain social stability to create a pivotal underpinning for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China with outstanding accomplishments.