Ambassador Gui Congyou Celebrates Professor Chen Zhu’s Winning of the 2018 Sjöberg Prize

Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou said  China is willing to further strengthen international cooperation on medical research with Sweden and other countries and contribute more to the health of all human beings.

On 14 April, Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou held a reception at the Embassy to celebrate Professor Chen Zhu’s winning of the 2018 Sjöberg Prize. Prof. Chen Zhu and his wife Prof. Chen Saijuan, President of the Karolinska Institutet Mr. Ole Petter Ottersen, International Director at the Swedish Red Cross Mr. Melker Mabeck, Chairman of the Sjöberg Foundation Mr. Ingemar Sjöberg and other scientists and eminent persons from the Swedish medical and health care communities, and all the diplomats at the Embassy attended.

In his speech, Ambassador Gui, on behalf of all the embassy staff, extended warm congratulations to Prof. Chen on his winning of the 2018 Sjöberg Prize. Ambassador Gui said Prof. Chen Zhu and his research team, through tireless long efforts and in collaboration with French scientists, developed a new targeted treatment for leukemia. They have saved thousands of lives in China and across the world and made great contributions to the development of the world’s medicine and human health. The 2018 Sjöberg Prize is a recognition of their long-term, in-depth research and joint efforts to overcome the world’s medical problems, and also an endorsement of their successful international cooperation in science and technology. Prof. Chen’s visit to Sweden to receive the award is of great significance in promoting the friendly cooperation between China and Sweden and enhancing international cooperation in related fields. Ambassador Gui said that strengthening the prevention and control of major diseases is an important component of the Healthy China initiative proposed at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. China is willing to further strengthen international cooperation on medical research with Sweden and other countries and contribute more to the health of all human beings.

Prof. Chen said in his speech that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ conferring the 2018 Sjöberg Prize on him once again made the “China Solution” for treating acute promyelocytic leukemia the focus of attention in the world medical community. This research result is a successful example of international cooperation. It is a beautiful story of the East meeting the West and the combination of traditional Confucianism and modern Western medicine. Scientific research transcends national borders. In scientific and health research, scientists from across the world share the same belief and are committed to serving human health, which in turn promotes mutual trust and people-to-people links among countries. It is an essential component of the Belt and Road Initiative, and also an important content in the construction of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. Prof. Chen said he and his team would continue working with partners both at home and abroad to understand the mechanisms behind other types of hematological malignancies and to develop innovative and effective therapeutic strategies through collaboration, for the well-being of human society.

Prof. Chen said over the years China and Sweden have maintained a good momentum of development in scientific and technological cooperation and have conducted broad and effective cooperation in various fields such as health, water resources, energy, mining, space, etc. The friendship between the two peoples has a long history, and the merchant ship from the 18th Century, the Göteborg, has become a unique symbol of China-Sweden friendly exchanges. Sweden is also the first Western country to establish diplomatic relations with China, and the bilateral relations have continued to grow to new levels, with China becoming Sweden’s most important trading partner in Asia. He expressed the hope that China-Sweden friendly cooperation will continue to deepen and make more positive contributions to world peace and development.

President of the Karolinska Institutet Mr. Ottersen said the winning of the 2018 Sjöberg Prize by Prof. Chen vividly explained how medical research could bring hope to thousands of patients and promote friendship and mutual trust among countries. We all agree that medical research can become an important component of the Belt and Road Initiative and that extensive cooperation should be carried out in the health field to bring health and hope to the people along the routes. Karolinska Institutet is willing to strengthen cooperation with scientists from China and other countries to tackle medical problems and jointly promote health and medical equality, to the greater benefit of the people of all countries.

In 2016, the Swedish entrepreneur Mr. Bengt Sjöberg donated 2 billion Swedish kronors (about 250 million US dollars) to establish the Sjöberg Foundation for the promotion of scientific research in the fields of cancer, health and environment. The Sjöberg Prize funded by the Sjöberg Foundation is conferred by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Ambassador Gui Congyou on Green Development with Swedish Magazine Aktuell Hållbarhet

Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou said China has proposed and thoroughly implemented the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone.
 On 26 February, Ambassador Gui Congyou gave an exclusive interview with Mr. Björn Anderberg, senior journalist from the Swedish magazine Aktuell Hållbarhet, at the Embassy. Ambassador Gui first extended Chinese New Year greetings to all the staff and readers of Aktuell Hållbarhet.
Ambassador Gui said that the concept of sustainable development was first put forward in Sweden in the 1970s and soon received a positive response from the international community, which fully reflects Sweden’s uniqueness and pioneership in sustainable development concepts. It can be said that the Swedish government and people have made important contributions to the sustainable development of the mankind. Today, sustainable development has become the theme of human development that the entire international community is giving serious thoughts to. In its effort to promote sustainable development, China has proposed and thoroughly implemented the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone. The concepts and goals of sustainable development between China and Sweden are highly compatible. The two sides are well positioned to learn from each other, exchange good experience and practices, and jointly make greater contributions to promoting sustainable development of the mankind.

Following is the full text of the interview:

1. Q: Despite the differences between China and Sweden, the two countries share much common understanding on environmental and climate policies. How should they support each other and jointly promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change?

Gui Congyou: I fully agree that China and Sweden should support each other and jointly promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Climate change is a global challenge that requires the unity and cooperation of the international community to tackle. The Paris Agreement embodies the broadest consensus of the international community and clearly defines the direction and goals of global cooperation in addressing climate change. The major trend of green, low-carbon and sustainable development across the world promoted by the Paris Agreement is consistent with China’s goal of building an ecological civilization. No matter how other countries change their positions, China will continue to implement the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone. Based on the inherent needs of our own sustainable development, we will take practical measures to enhance domestic actions to combat climate change and fulfill our obligations 100%.

In implementing the Paris Agreement, China and Sweden share common goals and visions. China is willing to work together with Sweden to jointly safeguard and promote the multilateral governance of climate change and promote green, low-carbon and sustainable development across the world.

2. Q: As I understand, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) has developed into a successful forum for exchanges on climate and environmental issues since its foundation in 1992. In the past 20 years, what achievements have been made in China’s international cooperation through CCICED?

Gui Congyou: The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) was founded in 1992 with the approval of the Government of China. It is a non-profit, high-level international advisory body composed of Chinese and foreign senior officials and experts on environmental protection and development. Its main task is to exchange and disseminate successful international experience in environmental protection and development. The current chairman of CCICED is Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of the State Council of China. Former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Climate and the Environment Ms. Åsa Romson is a council member.

Since its foundation, with the strong support of the Chinese Government and international partners, and aimed at promoting the implementation of sustainable development strategies and building a resource-conserving and environment-friendly society in China, CCICED has carried out hundreds of research projects in many areas of environmental protection and development, and put forward hundreds of policy recommendations on wide-ranging issues such as pollution control, cleaner production, biodiversity conservation, energy efficiency, circular economy, low-carbon economy, ecological compensation, the social dimensions of environmental protection, sustainable consumption, media and public participation policies, corporate social responsibility, green supply chain, green finance, management of ecological system and environmental governance capacity. Many of the proposals have been highly valued by the Chinese Government and the international community and have yielded important outcomes. For example, China’s State Environmental Protection Administration was upgraded to the Ministry of Environmental Protection. In 2014, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting approved the establishment of an APEC green supply chain cooperation network. Green finance was put on the agenda of the 2016 G20 Summit. The Chinese Government will continue to work closely with relevant international partners to make full use of the CCICED platform to strive for more achievements in global climate and environment governance.

3. Q: In recent years, many Chinese companies have developed very well in Sweden. A few years ago when Geely bought Volvo Cars many people were worried, but now the Swedish automobile industry has established close ties with China through Geely Automobile and National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). During my recent trip to China, I visited the Tianjin project of NEVS and saw good progress there. What does China think of the development of Chinese-funded enterprises in Sweden?

Gui Congyou: When it was bought by the Chinese private company Geely Group in 2010, Volvo Cars had been suffering losses for years and facing a bleak market prospect, and some Swedish people had doubts and concerns about the acquisition. Your question indicates that you were optimistic, not worried about the acquisition at that time. Eight years later, we now see that Volvo Cars has undergone a tremendous transformation with a significant increase in its market share in China, North America, and Europe. Last year, its sales volume reached a record high of 570,000 vehicles, among which more than 100,000 were sold in the Chinese market. Nowadays the Geely-Volvo project has become a successful exemplar of win-win cooperation between EU and China’s auto industries and is widely applauded. We appreciate the positive attitude of the Swedish side towards Chinese investment, and the Geely-Volvo project also has exerted a positive impact on promoting China-Sweden investment cooperation.

In June 2012, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) acquired Saab Automobile, a Swedish company with a history of nearly 75 years, and launched a new brand “NEVS”. After several years of integration and market development, NEVS focused on developing new energy vehicles. On 5 December 2017, the NEVS 9-3 Electric Vehicle model, which was developed on the basis of the advanced Phoenix platform, officially went into production in Tianjin, China. In the second half of 2018, NEVS’ s factory in Trollhättan, Sweden is planned to start production of NEVS 9-3 targeting the European and American markets. By then, the company will have an annual production capacity of 500,000 high-end pure electric vehicles.

The above two projects could be regarded as fine examples of complementary cooperation in technology, capital, production, and market advantages between Chinese and Swedish auto industries which has led to strong competitive edges and win-win development. We need to actively support their cooperation, and also look forward to more such successful examples of cooperation in other fields.

4. Q: In Sweden, or even Europe, there are still some voices that question Chinese investment. For example, some Swedish media recently questioned plans by Chinese companies to build a new port in Lysekil. What is China’s attitude towards such doubts?

Gui Congyou: We have noted recent reports by the Swedish media on Chinese companies’ participation in Swedish port construction. I would like to emphasize that the essence of China-Sweden trade and investment cooperation is mutual benefit and win-win results. The friendly exchanges between China and Sweden goes long back, and their economies are highly complementary with great potential in two-way investment. Strengthening trade and investment cooperation between the two countries is in the common interests of both sides and brings tangible benefits to the two peoples. It also brings to the Swedish side capital, jobs, and channels to the Asian markets, as is best illustrated by the Geely-Volvo project. Like Swedish companies, Chinese companies act independently as market players and fully comply with commercial principles while making outbound investments.

At the just-concluded 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, many leaders of European countries stated that protectionism is not the choice for the future. Opposing protectionism has become the mainstream of the international community. Sweden has always been an active advocate and defender of free trade and open economy. The Swedish government and many insightful people have repeatedly welcomed foreign investment including from China. China also firmly opposes protectionism. As a beneficiary as well as a firm supporter of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, China will open its economy further to the outside world. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has clearly stated that China’s open door will not be closed, but only be opened wider. China will continue to improve domestic business environment and also encourage capable Chinese companies to carry out investment and trade activities in Sweden. It is hoped that Swedish people from all walks of life can objectively and rationally view the market behaviors of companies and create a stable business environment and public opinion atmosphere for foreign investors including Chinese companies. On the issue of opposing protectionism, we must not only speak loud, but also do well.

5. Q: From another perspective, how can Swedish industry help China develop in an environment- and climate-friendly manner?

Gui Congyou: As has been stated at the 19th CPC National Congress, building an ecological civilization is vital to sustain the Chinese nation’s development. We Chinese people must implement our fundamental national policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, cherish the environment as we cherish our own lives, implement the strictest possible systems for environmental protection, and develop eco-friendly growth models and ways of life. We must pursue a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems. We must continue the Beautiful China initiative to create good working and living environments for our people and play our part in ensuring global ecological security. At present, China is fully implementing the direction and objectives of development set by the 19th CPC National Congress and, as it strives to build an ecological civilization, will make greater contributions to the global effort in addressing climate change and protecting the environment.

Sweden’s industrial development has undergone a process of pollution, treatment and finally sustainable development, and has advanced experience in developing industry in an environment- and climate-friendly manner. The Swedish Smart Ecocity of Hammarby is a typical example. Through applying a variety of clean energy, energy conservation and environmental protection technologies, the district has formed an environment- and climate-friendly development model and set an example for global sustainable development.

Hammarby’s experience is very useful to China. In March 2010, the then Vice President Xi Jinping made a tour of Hammarby during his visit to Sweden. He commended the development experience of Swedish Smart Ecocities, and personally pushed forward the signing of cooperation agreement between China’s Wuxi City and Hammarby, which China and Sweden are actively implementing. Shortly after I assumed office in Sweden, I visited Hammarby to promote the implementation of the important cooperation consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries. After this interview, I will visit Hammarby again to inspect the construction of the “upgraded version” of the Ecocity. Nowadays, there are many Chinese delegations visiting Hammarby every year, to learn Sweden’s advanced experience in energy conservation, environmental protection and circular economy, and Sweden’s concept of sustainable development, and to seek cooperation with Hammarby. We hope that through such cooperation, more Swedish companies will bring to China Sweden’s advanced experiences, technologies and products related to promoting development in an environment- and climate-friendly manner, and play a greater role in helping China to achieve sustainable development and build an ecological civilization. We also hope that China and Sweden will make new contributions to promoting global sustainable development through bilateral cooperation.

6. Q: I visited Beijing not long ago. During the 10 days of my stay the sky was blue every day and the air was quite good, which was completely different from my last visit several years ago. The changes were very obvious. I really want to know how China has made it. As far as I know, China is vigorously promoting non-fossil fuel vehicles and ready to invest heavily in the development of electric vehicles and electric buses. When did China start implementing this policy? What are the most important political considerations behind this development?

Gui Congyou: What you saw in Beijing is the result of the Chinese Government’s determined efforts to treat environmental pollution. The report of the 19th CPC National Congress has emphasized that we will speed up reform of the system for developing an ecological civilization, and build a Beautiful China. Beijing’s air quality will be better and better. This positive change has benefited from China’s efforts to develop green transportation and promote green mobility. Bike-sharing has swept the country, and high-speed rail networks have basically taken shape. With the continuous development of electric vehicles, in the future, China is expected to achieve a short-, medium- and long-distance non-fossil fuel transportation model composed of bicycles, electric vehicles and high-speed trains.

China started to develop new energy vehicles as early as the beginning of this century. China has successively introduced and revised relevant policies for new energy vehicles, batteries, and charging facilities for electric vehicles, strengthened industry norms, and promoted energy conservation and emission reduction. At present, new energy vehicles have become China’s national strategic emerging industry and key areas of the “Made in China 2025”. China’s new energy vehicles has ranked first in the world for three consecutive years in production and sale. In 2017, sales registered a year-on-year increase of 56.8% with 777,000 vehicles sold, of which pure electric vehicles accounted for 60%. In September 2017, the Chinese government announced it would begin studying when to ban the production and sale of cars using conventional fuels.

The development of non-fossil fuel transportation will, on the one hand, be conducive to energy conservation and emission reduction and improvement of the environment. On the other hand, it will ease the pressure of oil shortages and improve the energy structure. It will also promote the transformation and upgrading of the automobile industry and promote the sustainable development of transportation . Sweden has world-class concepts, experience and technologies in the field of non-fossil fuel transportation. We are willing to strengthen cooperation with the Swedish side to jointly promote the development of non-fossil fuel transportation.

7. Q: How can China maintain its industrial competitiveness while addressing air pollution? How will China handle its dependence on coal for electricity production?

Gui Congyou: We are looking for the best model to coordinate pollution control and industrial development. First, we must increase the use of clean energy and drastically reduce our dependence on coal. China is leading the world in terms of nuclear power capacity under construction and the installed capacity of new energy power plants such as solar and wind power.

China is vigorously implementing the Coal to Gas Conversion Project to change its coal-based energy system. Since 2015, the gas-fueled heating system has been adopted within Beijing’s 5th Ring Road. From 2017 onwards, the whole city, including the suburbs, no longer use coal as fuel. So the good weather you saw in Beijing during your 10-day stay was not accidental. It is estimated that China’s installed capacity of renewable energy power generation will reach 620 million kilowatts in 2018, and 710 million kilowatts in 2022 with an average compound annual growth rate of 3.57% in the next five years. While developing clean energy, China will also strengthen inter-provincial supply support and reserve sharing of the power grid, and coordinate the allocation of peaking resources in the region to collaboratively consume renewable energy power.

The report to the 19th CPC National Congress has stated that China will spur the development of energy-saving and environmental protection industries as well as clean production and clean energy industries. We will promote a revolution in energy production and consumption, and build an energy sector that is clean, low-carbon, safe, and efficient. You have seen with your own eyes that haze has been greatly curtailed in Beijing. It has been proved that rising electricity demand in China will not lead to further dependence on coal. China’s demand for coal will continue to decrease, and the energy demand of industrial production will be met mainly by the development of renewable energy.

8. Q: In Beijing we attended a large conference organized by the EV100 network. The impression from that meeting is that China soon will have a world-leading industry for electric cars and become a major producer and exporter of electrical vehicles across the world. However, in some countries, there is still a huge traditional automobile industry. The political power is strong to implement industrial protection rather than support the development of electric vehicles. How will China deal with this risk?

Gui Congyou: China supports the electric vehicle industry out of strategic considerations, mainly to mitigate tail gas pollution, improve air quality, and enhance energy security. After years of rapid development, China’s electric vehicle industry is moving from the start-up stage to the growth stage, and China has become the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of electric vehicles. But there is absolutely no need for European countries to worry about this, because China needs to first meet domestic demand for electric vehicles. China has begun studying when to ban the production and sale of cars using conventional fuels. China has 1.37 billion people from about 400 million households. If every family buys an electric car, the current production capacity is still far from enough. What we worry about is not whether China’s electric vehicle production capacity will affect other countries, but rather its inadequacy to meet the needs of the domestic market.

China will not produce electric vehicles behind closed doors, but stands ready to jointly develop and sell electric vehicles and share profits with all capable and willing countries. In recent years, many developed countries, major automobile-producing countries, and large-scale automobile manufacturers have reached extensive consensus on developing electric, low-carbon, informationalized and intelligent automobiles and have made greater efforts towards this goal. China has always pursued an open policy for cooperation and is willing to conduct win-win cooperation with manufacturers all over the world to provide good and affordable electric vehicles for global consumers, including in China. If consumers of other countries buy Chinese electric cars by their own choice, it is entirely market behavior, and we should let competition based on market economic rules come into play. Competition brings progress. Closing the door and isolation only protect backwardness and will never bring about progress.

Source:Chinese Embasssy

Ambassador Gui Congyou says China to be the world’s largest consumer market by the end of this year

 On 20 April, Ambassador Gui Congyou gave an exclusive interview at the Embassy with the program Ambassadorial Interview Series of the Swedish Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP). Ambassador Gui answered questions on China-Sweden relations, international trade, China’s foreign policy, China-Europe relations and other topics from Dr. Lars Vargö, distinguished fellow of ISDP and former Swedish Ambassador to Japan and South Korea.

Following is the full text of the interview:

1. Q: China and Sweden have long maintained friendly relations, the basis of which is mainly trade. The continuous development of China presents important opportunities for Sweden. If China’s economic growth slows down, what impact will it have on China-Sweden economic and trade relations ?

Gui Congyou: In recent years, China-Sweden relations have maintained steady development, and practical cooperation in all fields has continued to expand. For many years China has been Sweden’s largest trading partner in Asia and Sweden China’s largest in the Nordic region. Bilateral trade volume reached USD15 billion last year, a year-on-year increase of nearly 20%, while export from Sweden to China grew by 27%. For the first time in 25 years, Sweden has shifted from deficit to surplus in trade with China, which has fully reflected China’s strong demand for premium Swedish products and the great potential in cooperation between the two countries.

In the 40 years since the reform and opening up, China has scored great achievements in economic and social development. Over the past five years since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), China has unswervingly pursued the vision of innovative, coordinated, green and open development that is for everyone, accelerated the transformation of the growth model, and improved the economic structure. The 19th CPC National Congress held last year emphasized that China’s economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. The lowering of China’s economic growth target is for the purpose of transformation and innovation, which leads to improvement in the quality and returns of development. In the first quarter of this year, China’s GDP increased by 6.8% year-on-year, and the national economy has maintained steady performance with a good momentum for growth. The basic role of real economy and consumption in economic development has continued to strengthen. China is expected to surpass the United States as the world’s largest consumer market by the end of this year.

President Xi Jinping has solemnly announced that China will adopt a series of new and major measures to further opening up, including significantly broadening market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights, and taking the initiative to expand imports. In order to meet the demand of the vast Chinese consumers for high-quality foreign products, China will hold its first International Import Expo in Shanghai this November. While many other countries have held export expos, few have held an import expo. China holding the Import Expo fully demonstrates that it is dedicated to further opening up and willing to import more products. We look forward to the participation of Swedish companies to bring premium and competitive products to the Chinese market and expand two-way investment, so that China-Sweden trade and investment cooperation will develop towards greater breadth, deeper levels, and higher quality.

2. Q: What should policy makers in China and Sweden do to help defuse friction in global trade? What role can companies play?

Gui Congyou: At this stage of economic globalization, all countries in the world have already been bound together for good or ill. Frictions in trade are natural due to structural differences among different economies. The key is that all countries should uphold the principle of openness and win-win cooperation and resolve disputes through constructive dialogue under the framework of the multilateral trading system. As all WTO members have solemnly pledged, “should any dispute or friction occur, they will not seek unilateral actions that may heighten confrontation but will rather seek remedies through the dispute settlement system, and observe its rules and its rulings.”

Therefore, not only China and Sweden, but all policy makers in the world should stay rational and refrain from politicizing trade issues. Instead, they should act responsibly and bring trade issues back to the multilateral trading system for consultations and resolve them in accordance with business rules through negotiation. Punitive tariffs imposed outside the WTO framework are very likely to lead to a trade war. History has proved and will continue to prove that such a practice will harm both others and self.

To adjust trade imbalances, it is ultimately necessary to use market instruments and allow companies to be the main player. Most of the trade, investment, and technology transfer take place among multinational corporations, therefore they should actively take part in the discussions on global governance and the formulation of global trade rules. At the same time, companies should strengthen their awareness of avoiding trade frictions by taking proactive measures, and be given more play in dealing with trade frictions.

3. Q: At the 19th CPC National Congress, President Xi Jinping outlined the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. What does China’s role as a major country mean to Sweden?

Gui Congyou:The 19th CPC National Congress established the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Its most remarkable highlight in foreign policy is the call for promoting the new form of international relations and championing the development of a community with a shared future for mankind, in the pursuit of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

Since ancient times, the Chinese people have believed in the values of harmony among nations, a world of equality and peace, and brotherhood among peoples. After the founding of the People’s Republic, China initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which have become the basic principles for the development of state-to-state relations that transcend social systems and ideology, and have been accepted by the vast majority of the countries in the world. The report of 19th CPC National Congress emphasized that China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit and uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promoting common development. China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and to forging a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation. China will develop itself in the process of stepping up cooperation with the rest of the world, and benefit the world in the process of being further integrated into the world.

China and Sweden are traditionally friendly countries with no historical dispute or conflict of interests. We share many common topics and interests in areas like maintaining world peace and stability, globalization, free trade and climate change. China’s development means opportunities for Sweden. It is hoped that the Swedish side will seize the historic opportunity to continuously strengthen coordination and cooperation with China, so that we can jointly make more positive contributions to the world on the way toward building a new form of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. As I said to my Swedish friends, cooperation between China and Sweden can produce the effect of one plus one being greater than two.

4. A: Innovative technologies have great significance for both China and Sweden. China aims to become a scientific and technological leader by 2030. Sweden has similar ambitions. Stockholm hopes to become the Silicon Valley of Europe. How can the two sides cooperate to achieve these goals?

Gui Congyou: President Xi Jinping emphasized in the report of 19th CPC National Congress that China must firmly implement the strategies of invigorating China through science and education and innovation-driven development, and set higher targets for future international cooperation in scientific and technological innovation.

Sweden, a world leader in technological innovation, has made important contributions to human scientific progress. The Swedish scientific research community has always been committed to open cooperation. China and Sweden have great potential in scientific and technological innovation cooperation.

The leaders of the two countries reached an important consensus on strengthening China-Sweden scientific and technological innovation cooperation. When he met with Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven in June 2017, President Xi Jinping stressed the importance to associate China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, innovation-driven development strategy, and “Made in China 2025” with Sweden’s “Smart Industry” strategy, to strengthen cooperation in fields such as clean energy, smart cities, life sciences, green finance, high-speed rail and aerospace. This important consensus by the two leaderships has set a clear direction for Chinese-Swedish scientific and technological innovation cooperation.

Last August, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang visited Sweden, and co-chaired with the Minister of Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson the 4th meeting of China-Sweden Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation. The two sides agreed to conduct “2+2” cooperation, or joint research projects that involve a scientific research institution and a company from each side. This shows that China-Sweden scientific and technological innovation cooperation is not a one-way flow of technology, but rather joint development of new world-class technologies with the participation of businesses from both countries. In this way, results of joint research can be transformed into productivity more quickly, to better serve economic and social development and enhance the well-being of the two peoples.

5. Q: Sweden is a member of the European Union. The relationship with EU is one of the most important foreign relations for Sweden. The EU is also an important partner of China. How does China look at China-EU relations?

Gui Congyou: The China-EU relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations in the world. It is of strategic significance to both China and Europe and world peace and development. During his first visit to Europe as the Head of State of China in 2014, President Xi Jinping proposed the development of partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization and a comprehensive strategic partnership with a stronger global influence, which has pointed the direction for the development of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership under the new situation.

At present, China is deepening reform in all areas, and advancing the modernization of its national governance system and governance capacity. It is accelerating the advancement of new-type industrialization, informatization, urbanization, and agricultural modernization, and speeding up the development of the socialist market economy, democratic politics, advanced culture, harmonious society, and ecological civilization. We will work tirelessly to realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. The EU is undergoing governance, industrial and social transformation, promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and striving to lift its international competitiveness. China’s rapid development has become a good opportunity for Europe’s development and prosperity, while Europe with its economic strength and time-honored civilization is also one of the most important partners for China’s reform and development. China-EU cooperation has never been more urgent. We hope Europe will take a long-term perspective, surpass differences in social systems, cultural traditions and ideologies, respect the development path chosen by China, and regard China’s development as a major opportunity, to work together with China for common development.

6. Q: Another important issue for Sweden is Russia. Due to Ukraine, the “Salisbury incident” and other issues, the relationship between the EU and Russia has become increasingly tense, and Sweden is highly concerned about this. How does China view the tension between the EU and Russia?

Gui Congyou: The EU is undoubtedly an important pole in the multi-polar world. China has always attached great importance to Europe and regarded developing relations with Europe as a priority of China’s diplomacy. China continues to support the process of European integration. As a global power and permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is also a pole and has important influence in international and regional affairs.

China has consistently advocated that disputes between countries should be properly resolved through friendly negotiations. All countries should obey international law and the basic norms of international relations and avoid taking any actions that intensify contradictions. As the international community is facing many challenges, all countries should reject the cold war mentality, give up confrontation, and work together to safeguard world peace, stability and tranquility, to jointly build a new type of international relations of mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation. The EU and Russia are neighbors that cannot be moved away. The only right choice for the two sides is dialogue and cooperation.

7. Q: In recent years, conflicts have increased across the world. Sweden is concerned about this. China sticks to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Can China and Sweden cooperate to promote world peace and stability?

Gui Congyou: Absolutely. No matter how powerful it becomes, China will always safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order. China firmly remains committed to the path of peaceful development. It will be more active in maintaining international and regional security, and contribute more of Chinese experience, Chinese wisdom and Chinese approaches to improve international governance. China is firmly dedicated to political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues and strives to play a constructive role in bridging disagreements and promoting peace talks.

Sweden is also committed to safeguarding world peace and stability and advocates the settlement of disputes through diplomatic means. We appreciate this. China and Sweden can certainly strengthen cooperation in international and regional issues, and step up communication and coordination on dealing with global challenges, addressing regional hotspot issues, combating terrorism and promoting international development, so as to jointly make greater contributions to global peace and stability.

8. Q: What advice do you have for Swedish youth who want to learn about China? What should they do and what kind of opportunities do they have?

Gui Congyou: In the past 8 months as China’s ambassador to Sweden, I’ve found that young people from both China and Sweden are becoming more and more interested in each other, which is a good thing. As of the end of last year, there were more than 8,000 Chinese students studying in Sweden and nearly 400,000 Chinese tourists to Sweden, most of whom are young people. For Swedish young people who want to learn about China, I have the following suggestions for their reference.

To understand China, one must first understand China’s development path. China follows the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The 19th CPC National Congress declared that Socialism with Chinese Characteristics has entered a new era and has embarked on a new journey of building a great modern socialist country. Second, one must understand China’s system of political parties. China has CPC as the ruling party, but it’s not “one-party dictatorship” as referred to by some Westerners. Instead, it adopts a system of multiparty cooperation and political consultation, specifically cooperation and consultation with eight democratic parties. Third, one must understand China’s history and culture. China has more than 5,000 years of civilization and history and has created a splendid Chinese civilization. But in modern times, it has also experienced deep misery caused by aggression, enslavement and plunder. Only by knowing the journey of the Chinese people in the past can one understand the pursuit and dream of the Chinese people today. Fourth, I suggest that young people in Sweden read the book The Governance of China by Xi Jinping. This is the key to understanding contemporary China. This book records the thinking and practice of President Xi Jinping on governing the country and embodies the essence of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. It provides a window for comprehensively sensing and understanding China today and is the most authoritative book for in-depth comprehension of Chinese path, concept and approaches in the new era.

Seeing is believing. I also sincerely hope that young people in Sweden, whether as students or tourists, will go to China and take a look around to have a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of China’s past, today and the future. With sincerity and good faith, Swedish friends certainly could truly appreciate the Chinese story, Chinese miracle and Chinese spirit. I myself and the Chinese Embassy in Sweden will definitely do our best to help Swedish friends from all walks of life to better understand China.

Source , Chinese Embassy.

Ambassador Gui Congyou speaks at the Eco-Transport 2030

Stockholm, April 28(Greenpost)–Chinese Ambassador Gui Congyou said China is expected to achieve a non-fossil fuel model combining short-, medium-, and long-distance transport with bicycles, electric vehicles, and high-speed trains.

I am very pleased to attend the 2018 Eco-Transport 2030. This year’s session chooses China as the focus country, which shows Sweden’s recognition of China’s development in green transport and of China’s contribution to promoting sustainable development of the whole world. It also reflects Sweden’s expectation to further strengthen practical cooperation and bilateral relations with China. Hereby, I would like to sincerely thank all the Swedish friends who have organized and participated in this year’s conference, and warmly welcome the Chinese entrepreneurs, experts and scholars who have come from afar.

Green transport is a necessary way towards sustainable development, and is gaining more and more attention from the international community. Countries around the world have listed transportation as a key field for conserving energy, reducing emissions, and preventing and treating pollution. All countries are improving energy efficiency through technological innovation and industrial policies, optimizing development approaches, and striving for sustainable development of transportation.

Sweden is a world leader in sustainable development and green transport. As the first country in the world to have proposed the concept of sustainable development, Sweden has advanced technology and abundant experience in green transport. The Swedish government has set the target to become the first fossil fuel-free country by 2030, which demonstrates its determination in developing green transport and shows the international community the prospects of achieving sustainable development.

China regards the building of an ecological civilization as vital to sustain the Chinese nation’s development. In his speech at the recent Boao Forum for Asia, President Xi Jinping pointed out that we need to respect nature and treasure our planet, develop a vision of green, low-carbon and sustainable development, and share experience and jointly meet challenges.

Developing green transport is a strategic measure for China to implement the concept of green development and facilitate the building of an ecological civilization. In recent years, China has achieved remarkable results in developing green transport. China has been the world’s largest manufacturer and market of new energy vehicles for three consecutive years, with an accumulated total of 1.8 million vehicles, accounting for more than 50% of the world’s total. Bicycle sharing has swept the country. A nation-wide high-speed rail network have basically taken shape. The total length of the comprehensive transportation network exceeded 5 million kilometers. The total number of passengers in urban public transport exceeded 90 billion annually. Efficient transport models such as multi-modal transport boomed. Big data, cloud computing, mobile internet and other technologies have greatly improved transport efficiency and the results of energy-saving and emission reduction efforts. In the future, China is expected to achieve a non-fossil fuel model combining short-, medium-, and long-distance transport with bicycles, electric vehicles, and high-speed trains. By 2020, China will have basically established a green transport system which is well-planed, eco-friendly, clean and low-carbon, and highly efficient.

China and Sweden have highly compatible concepts and goals for sustainable development and green transport. Both sides have their own advantages in technology, capital, market, etc. They are highly complementary and have great potential for cooperation. We are willing to further strengthen cooperation with Sweden in green transport, clean energy, green finance, smart cities and other areas, so as to jointly make more contributions to the sustainable development of mankind.

In the future, China will continue to comprehensively deepen reform, expand opening-up, and accelerate the building of ecological civilization, which will provide broader cooperation opportunities for the international community including Sweden. We will significantly broaden market access, create a more attractive investment environment, strengthen protection of intellectual property rights, and take the initiative to expand imports. We welcome friends from all over the world to ride on China’s Economic Express and share the achievements of China’s reform, opening-up and development. We hope that both Chinese and Swedish entrepreneurs will be able to make more progress and achievement in the new journey of reform and opening-up in China.

All of you here are participants and promoters of China-Sweden cooperation in green economy and sustainable development. You are the main force for the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides. I hope that all of you will respond to the trend and seize the opportunity to expand cooperation for win-win results in the spirit of equality, mutual benefits, openness and innovation. The Chinese Embassy in Sweden will create more opportunities and provide better service for exchanges and cooperation between our two sides.

In conclusion, I wish this conference a complete success!

Source: Chinese Embassy website.


 北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)– 2018年4月20日,驻瑞典大使桂从友在使馆接受瑞典安全与发展政策研究所(ISDP)“大使访谈”栏目专访。桂大使回答了ISDP高级研究员、瑞典前驻韩国和日本大使瓦里约关于中瑞关系、国际贸易、中国对外政策、中欧关系等问题。采访全文如下:






                             一荣俱荣 一损俱损





























北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)– 中国驻瑞典大使桂从友说,斯德哥尔摩文化之夜举办一带一路北欧之春国际和平文化节具有十分重要的现实意义,为中瑞关系的发展注入新的正能量。


“中瑞两国是传统友好国家,两国关系正站在新的历史起点上,面临广阔的发展前景。在斯德哥尔摩文化之夜,增加中国文化元素,不仅是文化之夜更加绚丽多彩,也为中瑞关系的发展注入新的正能量。中方提出一带一路倡议是基于工商共建共享原则,增进与世界各国的友好,扩大与世界各国的全面合作。民心相通是”一带一路” 创意领域的五大活动之一,人与人之间的友好交往和国与国之间的人文交流是民心相同的最重要途径。也是扩大各个领域合作的基础和前提。”他说。



Ric Wasserman, 记者歌手,陈雪霏会长,桂从友大使和Toni Sica记者。






因此,中国领导人是清醒地认识到中国的挑战和问题的。但是,对于一些先富起来的人来说,可能觉得挣钱很容易,成功很容易。 其实,中国的问题是贫富差距很大,发展不平衡,环境污染严重。要想治理出一个蓝天来,就得一直坚持少生产,否则,蓝天就打折扣。但是,如果企业都关门了,就业压力又很大,因此,需要搞好各种平衡。















North and South Korean leaders’ meeting good for all

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, April 27(Greenpost) — North and South Korean leaders met today.

The stock market is up.   It is a sign that the world welcomes this kind of news.  It is a good news and if North Korea and South Korea can make peace, they will set a good example for the world that peace can be achieved if they can run along the world main theme, peace and development.






역사적인 이 자리에 오기까지 11년이 걸렸는데 오늘 걸어오면서 보니까 왜 이렇게 오래 걸렸나 생각 들었다.


역사적인 이런 자리에서 기대하는 분도 많고 아무리 좋은 합의나 글이 나와도 발표돼도, 그게 제대로 이행되지 못하면 오히려 이런 만남을 갖고도 좋은 결과에 기대를 품었던 분들에게 더 낙심을 주지 않겠나.


앞으로 정말 마음가짐을 잘하고 정말 우리가 잃어버린 11년 세월이 아깝지 않을 정도로, 아까 말씀드린 것처럼 정말 수시로 만나서 걸리는 문제를 풀어나가고 마음을 합치고 의지를 모아서 그런 의지를 갖고 나가면 우리가 잃어버린 11년이 아깝지 않게 우리가 좋게 나가지 않겠나, 그런 생각도 하면서 정말 만감이 교차하는 속에서 한 200m를 걸어 왔다.


오늘 이 자리에서 평화·번영, 북남 관계가, 새로운 역사가 쓰이는 그런 순간에 이런 출발점에 서서, 출발선에서 신호탄을 쏜다는 그런 마음을 가지고 여기 왔다.


오늘 현안 문제들, 관심사 되는 문제들을 툭 터놓고 얘기하고 좋은 결과를 만들어내고 앞으로 이 자리를 빌려서 우리가 지난 시기처럼 이렇게 또 원점에 돌아가고 이행하지 못하고 이런 결과보다는 앞으로 마음가짐을 잘하고 앞으로 미래를 내다보며 지향성 있게 손잡고 걸어나가는 계기가 돼서 기대하시는 분들 기대에도 부응하고.


오기 전에 보니까 오늘 저녁 만찬 음식 갖고 많이 얘기하던데 어렵사리 평양에서부터 평양냉면을 가져왔다.


대통령께서 편한 맘으로, 평양냉면, 멀리서 온, 멀다고 말하면 안 되겠구나, 좀 맛있게 드셨으면 좋겠다.


오늘 정말 진지하게 솔직하게 이런 마음가짐으로 오늘 문재인 대통령과 좋은 이야기를 하고 또 반드시 필요한 이야기를 하고 해서 좋은 결과를 만들어내겠다는 걸 문 대통령 앞에도 말씀드리고 기자 여러분에게도 말씀드린다. 감사하다.

今天,我真诚地希望以坦率的心态和文在寅总统好好沟通并交流必要的事情后能达成好的结果。这一点在文在寅总统和各位记者面前说一下, 谢谢!


오늘 우리 만남을 축하하듯이 날씨도 아주 화창합니다.


우리 한반도에 봄이 한창입니다.


이 한반도의 봄, 온 세계가 주목을 하고 있습니다.


전 세계의 눈과 귀가 여기 판문점에 쏠려 있습니다.


우리 남북의 국민들 또 해외 동포들이 거는 기대도 아주 큽니다.


그만큼 우리 두 사람 어깨가 무겁다고 생각합니다.


우리 김정은 위원장이 사상 최초로 군사분계선을 넘어오는 순간 이 판문점은 분단의 상징이 아니라 평화의 상징입니다.


우리 국민들 또 전 세계의 기대가 큰데 오늘의 이 상황을 만들어낸 우리 김정은 위원장의 용단에 대해서 다시 한 번 경의를 표하고 싶습니다.


오늘 우리 대화도 그렇게 통 크게 대화를 나누고 또 합의에 이르러서 우리 온민족과 또 평화를 바라는 이 세계 모든 사람들에게 큰 선물을 만들어줬으면 좋겠습니다.


오늘 하루 종일 이야기할 수 있는 시간이 있는 만큼 그동안 10년 동안 못다한 이야기 오늘 충분히 나눌 수 있기를 바랍니다.




 2018-04-27 TOPIK中国 韩语能力考试

Minister Antti Häkkänen: International community must work harder to stop financial flows to terrorism

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson
Stockholm, April 27(Greenpost)–In order to fight terrorism we need to intervene in its financing, and international cooperation is required to achieve this, Minister of Justice Antti Häkkänen said when speaking at a high-level conference in Paris today.
The conference dealt with measures to be taken by the international community to combat the financing of terrorism.

Around 80 states from all over the world and several international organisations attended the conference, which was convened by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Criminalisation of financing of terrorism, firmly anchored in human rights, is an important and necessary means to prevent terrorist offences. However, this alone is not enough. The 80 countries from all over the world and the international organisations represented in this conference can together change the world by blocking the flow of money to terrorism. One of the most important ways to fight terrorism is to find the sources and channels of funding and then close them down as effectively as possible,” Häkkänen said.

Terrorism cannot be stopped without intensifying the international cooperation. According to Häkkänen, more effective international exchange of information is required to be able to trace financial flows all the way to their final destination.

“For instance, information requests on suspected terrorist financing should be processed by all states much faster than at the moment. In addition, we need to keep up with the constantly changing operating environment. Various unofficial, often anonymous and digital money transfer services make detecting and preventing terrorist financing very challenging,” Häkkänen said.

“Furthermore, we need more efficient and more extensive legal cooperation in criminal matters. Competent authorities in all states should respond to international requests for legal assistance without delay and cooperate as widely as possible. It is crucial that all countries present here today are committed to stepping up our collective efforts to fight the financing of terrorism.”

“An enormous amount of work is being carried out within the European Union to create a safe living environment for ordinary citizens. I also consider it important that the EU continues to be an active global actor that strives to deepen the international cooperation to fight terrorism,” Häkkänen said.


北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)– 4月21日,斯德哥尔摩风和日丽,晴空万里,春意盎然。在恒运阁饭店挤满了人群,原来是斯德哥尔摩文化之夜一带一路北欧之春国际和平文化节和李丽国画展在这里举行。下面请看精彩的文艺演出部分实况:


北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)– 今年因为Me Too丑闻导致瑞典文学院18个诺贝尔文学奖评委中的5个宣布离职。很多人担心今年的诺贝尔文学奖颁发有可能受影响。





Commentary:EU misunderstand China’s Belt and Road Initiative

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, April 25(Greenpost)– Reading South China Morning Post, it says 27 EU countries Ambassadors signed a paper against China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

This can be seen as an initial reaction against the Belt and Road Initiative when many people keep on asking what is China’s purpose? Why do they do this? What benefit they can gain? What benefit can we gain?

It is understandable that the western idea is always basing on the utilitarian foundation. If you do something, it must be for your own benefit, otherwise you will not do it.

But my understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative is that it started from the ancient silk road routes through central Asia. President Xi Jinping proposed this idea in Alma Ata.  It is a strategic thought to meet the development demand.

China had been a poor country for almost a hundred years and the main reason is that China didn’t have the good infrastructure.  The road was poor and transportation was bad.  So China’s experience is that to become rich, you must have good roads.  (Yao Xiang Fu, Xian Xiu Lu). These kinds of projects are usually big ones, thus it needs state-owned companies to do it because they have high standards engineering capacity.

In China private sector developed rapidly, but a lot of problems also started from private companies.  It takes time to regulate.

After 40 years of development, China becomes stronger, at least with another two years it aims to wipe out the poverty completely. This goal should be praised because with the completion of this goal, it is expected that China’s human rights situation will be substantially improved.

I understand the western solidarity type of wind against China starting from China’s changing of the constitution and ensuring Xi’s presidency forever. Many people understood this change as a guarantee for Xi’s presidency for life long.  But my understanding is that Xi wishes to have a collection of power so that he can carry out his plans more effectively.  But it doesn’t mean he will be president forever.  No one guarantees that after three terms or after he fulfilled the goal of building China into a modern country with even a very basic demand of having blue skies in Beijing, he will step down. Or he will lead an orderly expended scale democratic election.  Through this year’s NPC congress, I think Xi is implementing an orderly and transparent voting procedure.  And his presidency was elected with formal voting procedure.

I am sure China’s intention is not to impose China’s influence to anybody. China is a peace loving country. Chinese people work very hard just to live a better life.  When they have good skills and building capacity, they like to share this with other countries.

It happens exactly like SIPRI’s expert analysed that it is those countries that needs China’s capacity contracted with China such as Greece and Spain. In the early stage such as 2005, or before, China also imported technologies or engineering in waste burning from Spain.

That some EU countries worry about China is understandable, but unnecessary.  On the one hand, they worry if one Chinese will reach a European’s living standard, then China has 1.3 billion people, how many earth we should have to feed such a demand? On the other hand, they worry if you build a port for them, what will be the future? We have no secret from you any more.  How can we maintain our independence?

These worries seem to be real worry because when the western powers went to China, China became semi colonised. When the western power went to Africa,  most African countries were colonised.   Thinking from their own experience, they feel very worried.

But China’s Belt and Road initiative is not to take from you, it is to build for you to use.  The principle is to negotiate first and then you build together and then you share the benefit in the end.  Because you put money in the bank and now you get the bank loan and you got infrastructure.  Improved infrastructure will improve business. With booming business, you will get money or benefit.

China can only provide help to those who really need help. It is very difficult for Nordic countries to think’ how can we need help from China’? It is always we who provide help to others.  Indeed, China still has a lot to learn from the Nordic and western European countries.  But for infrastructure construction such as fast train track and train, China is indeed very advanced. If Nordic region can coordinate and build fast train, travel time on average will be shortened by half, it will substantially improve the business environment and well-being of the people.  It will promote tourism substantially.  Business meetings can increase substantially.  It will only make business even more efficient.

Some people especially some so-called experts and new media persons  recently launched a lot of negative coverage about China in order to win the readers eye balls.  In the long run, it will prove that China is indeed the main force in maintaining the world peace and driving the world development.  China never throws out problems even though they have problems inside China.

This is a big difference between China and America or Britain. When America has election or other problems, they will put their finger on China or other countries and then when they succeed they become normal again.

This kind of drama doesn’t happen in China. China is so large that it can saturate its own problems.  It will not hit others in order to win its own election because they can balance the situation in China according to the real situation.  This is because the Communist party’s goal is to serve the people and make the country a good land to live and people enjoy a better life.

This has happened already in Beijing, Shanghai and most of the eastern regions.  Last month when I came back from Beijing, in Helsinki transfer, I met a Swedish lady who visited Shanghai and visited all the banks in Shanghai, she said she felt people in Shanghai really enjoy  a good life.  They eat well, wear well and they also walk beautifully, namely not always in a hurry.

Those who broke the Chinese law went to America or other countries and then fiercely curse China.  It is not commended.

Back to Belt and Road Initiative,  it is indeed an initiative, it is a good -will suggestion or proposal for all to sit around the table to discuss.  It is not an imperative for everyone to obey.  China thinks when people get better life, they will not fight each other any more.  This is China’s experience.  It is a good will and many experts for example Schillers Institute’s Helga La Rues highly commended belt and road initiative because she said this is so far the best available way to avoid war or conflict.

Belt and Road is also a long term initiative. It will be implemented only in the countries or places where needed.  Those who don’t need it, it is absolutely ok if you are against it or disagree because it doesn’t suit your situation. So let’s forget it.

Belt and Road Initiative is a good idea for Asian, Central Asian, Africa, Latin America and maybe Northeast Asia.  It is indeed difficult for Nordic Countries which are so rich, so well developed and almost world model countries to fit in.

However, I think it is still ok because one of the initiative is to promote people to people communication and exchange, in that sense, it also fits.

I suggest that Nordic countries and western European countries and China  talk with each other in fixing the world peace and development, but not condemn each other.  I read the SCMP article saying the European Ambassadors condemn the Belt and Road Initiative, it is a completely misunderstanding of the purpose of the initiative.

Of course there is still big room for China to improve. That is to invest more in education and research, invest more in culture and domestic development.  There are still problems in rural China where not just poverty alleviation is needed,  all the cultural and education and other wellbeing facilities are needed.

If outside world don’t need China, let us build every inch of China a beautiful China.  Blue sky and clean water and soil is just fundamental and basic requirements.

This is only the writer’s own opinion.

Xuefei Chen Axelsson is a senior editor and correspondent freelancing for different media.  She studied World Politics, Economics and  International Relations.  She also studied leadership for Sustainable Development in London and got a Master degree in it. She has long been journalist covering various development conferences and practices by the United Nations.

Belt And Road Initiative: EU Strategic Interests In Asia

Insights from Richard Ghiasy.

On a strategic level, explain the EU’s perspective toward China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Frankly, there is no unified EU perspective on the BRI – at least yet. Strategic responses to the initiative are still being pondered over. Partially, this has to do with more urgent priorities, mainly Brexit, the Russian resurgence, concerns over populism, the migration crisis, and now the Catalonian crisis. But, it also has to do with the BRI itself  ̶  it is perceived as an insufficiently articulated concept. Subsequently they [EU members] find it difficult to come up with adequate strategic responses.

Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.At the individual EU member state level, however, a large number of European members, mostly in the south, center, and east have already warmly embraced the initiative and have commenced cooperation. Evidently, this dichotomy in perceptiveness does not aid strategic decision-making processes in Brussels. One such example is the 16+1 framework. It is a cooperation framework of 16 Eastern and Central European states plus China, not all of which are EU members, that has resulted in bitterness in Brussels  ̶   they see the framework undermining EU unity. It is evident that the level of interest shown by (too) many EU states in the BRI will compel the EU to come up with strategic policy decisions on BRI engagement.

Which individual European countries are receptive toward involvement in the BRI and why?  

Countries that have infrastructure deficits, domestic and (sub-)regional connectivity deficits, or pressing unemployment and economic growth challenges have typically been the most welcoming  ̶  this includes Greece, Spain, Italy, Serbia, Portugal, and Hungary. These countries have difficulty securing the financial means for large infrastructure projects domestically and through existing multilateral finance mechanisms, making them very receptive toward BRI involvement.

England has also expressed strong interest, partially driven by anxiety over the economic impact of Brexit, but also over worries of how the BRI may impact global finance over time. The Nordic community has shown little interest so far, partially due to the fact that they are economically developed, well connected, and “tucked away” in a corner of Europe that sees, comparatively, little transit activity. Germany and The Netherlands have shown interest and have commenced engagement, yet at the same time they are evaluating the BRI’s long-term strategic implications at the national and EU level. These are mostly related to economic security impacts, but also impacts on (sub)national and regional security among participating states.

What is the difference between the EU-China Connectivity Platform and the BRI?

The BRI is an immensely ambitious global connectivity and development vision that will – probably – run for decades. It already has over 65 countries on board that have either shown strong interest or are already engaged. In contrast, the EU-China Connectivity Platform is a policy forum that aims to create synergies between EU policies/projects and the BRI – mostly as they relate to cooperation on infrastructure, including financing, interoperability, and logistics. Therefore, the EU-China Connectivity Platform is, in comparison, very modest in size and focuses on projects between the two countries. At this stage, no projects with or in third party countries have been conducted.

What are the potential geostrategic consequences of no EU involvement in BRI?

No involvement would send a strong message to China and participating states that it [the EU] is not interested in joint economic development initiatives with China in Eurasia. Since the EU and China are the two largest economic entities in Eurasia, it is essential that they steward the continent’s economic development agenda. In addition, since individual EU member states are already participating in the initiative, no official EU involvement would create an awkward dynamic. In addition, it is important that the EU engages and helps to steward the initiative so that its own diplomatic, economic, and security interests are not threatened. No involvement would mean that China will, likely, develop larger sway in the continent on anything from investment standards, to supply chains, to trade routes, to diplomacy. This scenario may seriously impact the EU’s economic and security interests.

Explain how EU engagement in BRI might further its strategic interests in Asia.     

Some of the challenges that the EU faces, including the migration crisis and terrorism, stem – partially – from Asia. As the EU goes through a historically unique, yet long and fragile process of integration it is pivotal that its neighbors and neighbors’ neighbors are stable and are developing sustainable economies. At the moment however, the EU is facing security challenges from essentially all directions except its north.

Asia, as the world’s most populous and economically largest continent is pivotal to the world economy, and thus the EU’s economic and security interests. A stable Eurasia requires closer cooperation between its largest actors, the EU, China, India, Japan, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Russia. Distrust and competing visions for the supercontinent between these six will only result in friction and greater potential for (proxy) conflict.

It is quite safe to state that in terms of influence the EU has been losing ground in East, Central, and South Asia. The BRI is a platform on which it could possibly regain some of that influence, for instance by assisting participating states with the “softer side” of connectivity: national development agendas, business reform and socioeconomic policies. There are plenty countries in Asia in which there are concerns over overreliance on China through the BRI – the EU is an economic behemoth that could function as a counterweight.

Source: the Diplomat website.