STOCKHOLM, June 10(Greenpost) — Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou has said that Sino-Swedish relations will be carried forward by the young.
He made the remarks at the first China Alumni reception on May 31st at the Chinese Embassy.
” It gives me great pleasure to meet so many friends representing different sectors of Sweden. Welcome to the Embassy! You all share the experience of studying, working, visiting or starting a business in China, and you all made positive contributions to cooperation and friendship between China and Sweden. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks and sincere greetings to you, and through you to everyone that has been committed to promoting friendship between China and Sweden.”
Gui said that Sweden was the first Western country to establish diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China, and it was also one of the first Western countries to sign an inter-governmental cooperation agreement on trade and technology, making positive contributions to China’s reform, opening up and modernization. China and Sweden enjoy long-standing cooperation. Over 260 years ago, the Gothenburg merchant vessel sailed all the way to China, opening the maritime Silk Road cooperation between the two countries. There is traditional friendship between Chinese and Swedish people, and we both hope to grow China-Sweden cooperative relations. In the nearly seven decades of diplomatic ties, China-Sweden relations maintained an overall momentum of growth, achieving fruitful outcomes in many areas of exchanges and cooperation.
In 2018, trade between China and Sweden reached USD 17.15 billion, growing by 15% and hitting a new historical record. Exchanges between our two countries in education, technology and culture are expanding. The two Governments have established mechanisms such as Education Policy Dialogue and Joint Committee Meeting of Science and Technology. There are now more than 9,000 Chinese students in Swedish universities, more than doubling that of five years ago. The exchanges and cooperation between our schools, universities and research institutes are flourishing, and cultural exchange programs such as Confucius Institute and Chinese Language Culture Festival, and performances by Chinese art groups are also warmly received by the Swedish public.
Gui said that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and the next year is the 70th anniversary China-Sweden diplomatic ties. In the past almost 70 years, friendship and cooperation has always been the mainstream of our diplomatic relations, and promoting further growth of our relations has always been a shared hope of our two peoples. There is great potential and bright prospects for deepening cooperation across the board between our two countries. Coming from various sectors and organizations in Sweden, you share a connection with China because of a common experience of studying, working or starting a business in China. You represent an important force for friendship between our two counties.
“Many of you are very young, and are about to go to study or work in China, which will add new momentum into China-Sweden cooperation. The root of China-Sweden relations is in the people, and the future will be carried forward by the young. I sincerely hope that you will play a leading role to promote China-Sweden cooperation in your respective field, and inject new energy and vitality into our bilateral relations. We will work with Swedish agencies to establish a China Alumni Association in Sweden, and regularly hold activities like today’s event, to provide a channel and platform for cooperation and exchanges with China. Let us work together, to continue to open new areas of China-Sweden cooperation, build new platforms, make greater contributions to friendship and cooperation for the benefit of our two peoples.
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.
Many Chinese delegations visited Sweden and signed contracts and then went back but seldom come back. Swedish complained. But Vice governor of Hubei Province Zhao Haishan said they are serious about cooperation with Sweden at a grand promotion ceremony held in Stockholm on Thursday also marking the 69th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sweden.
Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou said China pays great attention to economic and trade relations with Sweden , especially against the background of “trade war” with the U.S. China is willing to cooperate with Sweden. For two years Sweden has surplus in trade and investment with China due to big project such as Geely. China hopes Both sides continue to increase investment to each other. Sweden has become the largest trade partner with China outside the EU. Chinese embassy also seeks to see more cooperation between Hubei province and Sweden.
Zhao Haishan said at the promotion conference that Hubei and Sweden are not new in cooperation. After many years of cooperation and rapid development in China, Hubei province has decided to pay greater attention to cooperation with Sweden because of their complementary factors for each other.
Zhao said Hubei is complete in industrial systems and loves to further sustainable development where Sweden is in the good position. Hubei province also has great automobile industry and he was impressed by visiting Volvo cars in Gothenburg. He said Hubei has 128 universities and 1.5 million university students, which are both talents and consumers.
The huge delegation consists of about 80 members from different cities and companies. Three women vice mayors from Wuhan, Xiangyang and Yichang came along to have a presentation about their respective cities.
Hubei province is the center of China and the communication hub for Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xian as well as Chengdu in terms of Belt and Road Initiative. Why? Because all the goods that are exported to Europe or other BRI countries via Xinjiang will go through Wuhan.
The promotion event was held by Hubei province and organized by the Department of Commerce of Hubei Provincial government and supported by the Chinese Embassy. Han Xiaodong, Counselor of Commerce of Chinese Embassy attended the conference. Elisabeth Söderberg Secretary General of Sweden China Trade Council presided over the conference
Qin Jun, Director General of the Department of Commerce said that Hubei province held a China-Nordic Exhibition gallery in Shanghai Import Expo last November. They saw great interest from nordic countries and this event is also a follow up for last Novermber’s Shanghai’s CIIE expo, but also a preparation for this coming november’s event. So they have prepared for the signing of 16 projects between Chinese and Swedish and Norwegian counterparts.
Further more, Vice governor Zhao Haishan and Qinjun and other members from Bank of China in Huibei province even visited Gavleborg and met governor Per Bill.
After their remarks to express further willingness and intention for further cooperation, they also witnessed the signing of a project in sugar reduction between Holee and THIS Less is More Community Nordic AB..
The vice governor of Hubei and his 16 member delegation also visited the Gavle Innovation Hub and observed how the hot chokolate without sugar were made. They also tasted many kinds of reduced sugar products.
Qin Jun said they are very serious about these agreements and will have further follow-up about them.
Hubei province has already cooperation with Norway in Salmon equipment production and now they like to cooperate with Sweden too. The delegations also went to Iceland, Finland, Denmark and Norway.
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.