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.
Huawei President Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with People’s Daily that Huanwei will continue to buy American chips because market economy decides that enterprises will buy from each other.
Ren said Huawei has always bought half of its chips from America and half uses its own even if Huawei’s chips are cheaper. He said the purpose is to exchange and to keep up the same level.
But the current situation is that the American enterprises must get approval from Washington to sell it to Huawei. Once they got approval, Huawei will continue to buy. But right now there is no time to wait for the approval, so Huawei has to use their own, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t want to buy.
Ren blamed the media to blame American enterprises without discrimination from American politicians. It is American politicians who don’t want the American enterprises to sell chips to Huawei. But over the years, American enterprises have been very cooperative.
瑞典皇家音乐学院钢琴演奏家双焱在接受记者采访时说：近年来中国华裔演奏员们在国际比赛中获得了很多奖项。我的学生Daniel J Xia 夏家睿八岁时曾获得 Stockholm International Music Competition 国际音乐比赛和 Steinway 施坦威国际钢琴比赛中获得第一名金奖。DavidHuang黄大卫也曾在2013俄罗斯国际钢琴比赛中获得第一名冠军和奖金二十万卢布，成为瑞典第一个在俄罗斯国际大赛中获得金奖的演奏员。他现在已获得瑞典皇家音乐学院钢琴演奏家学位。Lilla Akademien钢琴主课演奏员LeoLong Lindblom龙龙.林德布隆也曾获第四届和第六届Stockholm国际音乐比赛⼀等奖(金奖)。第七届Stockholm国际音乐比赛即将在5月30日到6月2日拉开序幕，希望更多的华裔演奏员在比赛中取得好成绩！ 瑞典皇家音乐学院新校舍由瑞典政府投资10个亿建成，Kungasalen音乐厅拥有世界最先进的音响设备，它的功能包括音乐厅、戏剧厅、电影厅、会议厅等功能，可以根据需要变换各种丰富的舞台，设有观众席、候场区、演员通道等空间，均处在建筑正负零面以下。音乐厅的整个室内空间是在马舍地下的花岗岩中间艰苦挖掘出来的，这使此音乐厅具有绝佳的热工效能。这样设计的另一个优势在于降低演奏时产生的建筑震动，获得较好的声学谐振效果，还可以降低了整体建筑的高度。值得一提的是，音乐厅内除观众席外的三面墙壁均精心设计了反声瓦，采用钢琴外壳相同的硬质木板，纯直线条，谐振效果突出中高音区域。反声瓦依照下部小而密，上部大而疏的原则布置，内侧暗藏灯带，同时增加视觉美感。
Stockholm 14 May(Greenpost) Over 400 high-level policymakers, researchers and practitioners gather in Stockholm for the sixth annual Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development to be held between May 14 and 16th.
This year’s forum centres on the topic ‘From crisis response to peacebuilding: Achieving synergies’ and was opened by Ambassador Jan Eliasson, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board. Ambassador Eliasson’s address touched on the broad range of actors and peacebuilders and emphasized the risks of actors working in silos.
The first day of discussion ended up with the closing remark by Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Walstrom. She said that the good example of peace building was Columbia and it was so good that their President even won the Nobel Prize for Peace.
She said it is important to involve women in the process and that is exactly the Swedish foreign policy and building strong institutions is also very important.
HE Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden, provided introductory remarks and pointed out that the various efforts among the development community ‘do not always add up.’
Guest speaker for the opening session was Dr Sima Samar, Chair, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Council and member of the UN Secretary-General High-Level Panel on Mediation. Dr Samar shared her knowledge of Afghanistan—a country that has endured over 40 years of conflict. From her experiences, ‘when people’s human rights are violated; when their freedom is restricted; when there is discrimination against people; where there is no equality; and there is no access to justice for people—then conflict starts.’ She underlined the need for the meaningful inclusion of women and minorities at all stages of the peace process and during post-conflict reconstruction.
Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross gave a keynote speech on peace and development. On the need for the stronger connections between humanitarian aid; development cooperation; and peacebuilding, Maurer stressed that ‘humanitarian actors are not peacebuilders. Neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian action is distinct from political agendas and it must remain so. Yet, I would argue that while others make peace, humanitarian action helps make peace possible.’
The theme for the opening panel was ‘Crisis response and peacebuilding: How to create synergies’ and was moderated by Annika Ben David, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden.
Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, highlighted the World Bank’s ‘Pathways to Peace’ report and how the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have laid out a vital roadmap for the future, but also for managing the risks of today.
HE Raya Haffar El Hassan, Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Lebanon, talked about the different agendas between donors and how better synthesis between donors could lead to a more sustainable peace.
Hafez Ghanem, Vice President for Africa, World Bank outlined the new role of the World Bank in investing in peace. Pointing to a number of key initiatives and ways of analyzing the Sahel; the Lake Chad Basin; and the Horn of Africa regions, he stated the need to focus on the drivers of fragility such as climate change and exclusion. He also stressed to support the local government to keep peace and development.
HE Hirut Zemene, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia, emphasized the role of youth development—a theme echoed by other panellists—and stressed the demographic challenge in Ethiopia and elsewhere.
General Dennis Gyllensporre, Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), called for better conflict analysis in the early stage of crises and the need to share in a combined body of knowledge. General Gyllenspore stated ‘we all have different blind spots depending on what lens we use.’ Sharing knowledge, he said, ‘will give us a sense of a common understanding of the conflict dynamics.’
Karin Wallensteen, State Secretary for International Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, Sweden, spoke on collective outcomes. ‘I believe that if we have this nexus of humanitarian efforts; development efforts; and peace efforts we can give the relief and at the same time keep our focus on the SDGs.’
In the afternoon, Somalian Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Isse Awad said his country is in a better position now with 80 percent of the people have mobile phones, good infrastructure, schools and other conditions. But the governance of the government is still a challenge for them, thus he called on the donors to support his government to strengthen good governance.
Fatima Shehu Imam, Director of Civil Society Organizations in Borno State, Nigeria said great challenge ahead because they have about 500 thousand orphans in northern part of Nigeria. These people need more care from government and social organizations because they are isolated or even resentful, no one care about them.
Mohammed Ali Al Hakim, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq said Iraq is on the right track and he promised to pay greater attention to gender issues. Right now they have about 30 women diplomats and he plans to increase more women Ambassadors in the future.
Annika Soder Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden summarized Swedish efforts in promoting feminist foreign policies even in the UN Security Council. She blamed some super power of implementing unilateral actions and not cooperative for some good ideas. But she stressed the feminist policies in the long run is more sustainable in peace keeping and development.
Peter Mauer said in the afternoon high level panel that things change a lot. For example they prepared a lot of medicine in disaster or conflict humanitarian aid, but found out that people need more electricity and telecommunication.
The moderator was Dan Smith, Executive Director of SIPRI.
When asking a delegate from Nigeria about China’s role in Africa, he said China can do more, for example building more water conservancy projects to secure safe drinking water and keep water clean.
The forum was jointly held by SIPRI, SIDA and Foreign Ministry of Sweden.