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Speech of H.E. Ambassador Huang Xingyuan
Seminar of “the Belt and Road Initiative and Cyprus Role as the Stepping Stone into the Region”

2017-06-07

Speech at the Seminar of "the Belt and Road Initiative and Cyprus Role as the Stepping Stone into the Region"

H.E.Mr. Huang Xingyuan
Ambassador of People's Republic of China in Cyprus
(June 6th, 2017)


Honorable Minister of Education and Culture Dr. Costas Kadis,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to attend this thematic seminar of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is known that not long ago the Chinese government successfully hosted the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, which achieved fruitful results, attracted worldwide attention and received warm feedback from various parties.
This forum was further graced by the presence of H.E. Minister Costas Kadis, who signed the Agreement for the Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Titles with the Chinese counterpart. Shortly before the opening ceremony of this forum, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank also announced to accept Cyprus as a member. On this occasion, I would like to extend my warm congratulations to Mr. Minister for this successful visit to China.

Ladies and gentlemen,
More than two thousand years ago, the ancient Silk Road connected Asia, Europe and Africa into prosperous trade routes that promoted the interactions between various countries on the Eurasian continent, enhanced cultural exchange between the East and the West, and made great contributions to the development of human civilization.
Two thousand years later, the Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to co-build the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and "the 21st century Maritime Silk Road". Since the inception of the Belt and Road Initiative four years ago, the Chinese side has carried out mutually beneficial cooperation with countries along the Belt and Road in the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, with the focus on the connectivity of policies, facilities, trade, finance and peoples. The Chinese side has advocated various parties to coordinate their development strategies while co-building the Belt and Road in the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.
Over the past four years, the vision of the Belt and Road Initiative has been translated into action, the achieved progress and results have exceeded expectations, the group of like-minded friends has attracted more participants, and the number of partners seeking cooperation has been rising. It fully proves that the Belt and Road Initiative is in line with different countries' development needs, compatible with the interests of all peoples, and consistent with the trend of the times.
We are clear-minded that there is a long journey to go and daunting tasks to accomplish as the Belt and Road cannot be built all at once. The Initiative is rooted in history, starts from China, and belongs to the whole world. Based on the Eurasian continent, the Initiative is an open and inclusive platform for development and cooperation. It is a symphony of mutual benefits performed by all countries participating on an equal footing, rather than China's solo show or its private kitchen.
We hope that all parties will join hands to move forward in the same direction by safeguarding economic globalization, improving global governance, advocating free trade, and seeking mutual benefit and common development. We hope that all the concerned parties, especially the relevant stakeholders in Europe, can go without distraction and refrain themselves from deliberately misinterpreting the meaning of market economy, setting up trade and investment barriers, and covertly implementing trade protectionism, all of which amounts to imprisoning themselves in a self-designated sphere or shifting troubles to neighbors.

Ladies and gentlemen,
My purpose of inviting all of you to gather here is to discuss the way for deepening pragmatic cooperation in all areas within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. This is what has always been on my mind and something I try hard to do. Thus I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my views.
Located along the ancient Silk Road, Cyprus can play an important role as the stepping stone into the region along the 21st century Maritime Silk Road.
At present, both China and Cyprus are pushing forward structural reforms and promoting economic and social development. There is huge potential and a broad prospect for two countries to strengthen coordination of development plans and share common interests under this Initiative.
We should work hard to expand and upgrade our bilateral trade. Both Chinese products and Cypriot products have their distinctive features, therefore both sides should take the opportunity of implementing preferential policies to achieve the target of the current trade volume being doubled and exceeding USD 1 billion within the next two years.
We should strengthen people-to-people exchanges and promote mutual understanding. We hope that the two countries can realize the direct flight as soon as possible, the procedure for the visa application can be more streamlined to Chinese citizens, and the communication between both universities, think tanks, media and young people can be more frequent, thus our friendship can take root in people's heart and be carried forward to the next generations.
Despite the long-lasting friendship and amicable feelings between our two peoples, there is still a need for more communication. To this end, this year the Chinese Embassy launched the "Heart to Heart" Series Cultural Event with the aim to create new channels for more Cypriot friends to experience China, understand China and fall in love with China

Ladies and gentlemen,
As the ancient Chinese saying goes, where many help to gather firewood, the flames shoot high. A great cause requires the broad support and participation of the people. It is my sincere wish that all of you participate in building the Belt and Road, work for friendship and cooperation between our countries, and make greater contributions to promoting the economic and social development and deepening our friendly relations.
Thank you.

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