|Speech by Chinese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Huang Xingyuan at the Press Conference|
|( 18 May 2017 , the Chinese Embassy)|
Dear friends from the press,
Welcome to attend today's news briefing.
To begin with, I would like to introduce you the updated information about the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) just concluded successfully in Beijing, and then I would like to take your questions of interest.
I. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and its Outcomes
In 2013, the Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the important initiative of building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which we call the Belt and Road Initiative in short. Four years on, the building of the Belt and Road Initiative has been progressing smoothly with over 100 countries and international organizations supporting and involved in this initiative. A considerable number of cooperative projects have been launched and bearing notable fruits. And it is widely welcome and highly recognized by the international community.
On May 14th and 15th, the Chinese government hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing with the aim to discuss the major plans for cooperation among different parties, jointly build the cooperation platform, and share together benefits of cooperation in an increasing interdependent world which is faced with surging challenges. With the vision of delivering greater benefits to the people of all countries through this Belt and Road Initiative, this forum was aimed to send a positive message for all parties to pool efforts for achieving outcomes of this Initiative and creating a community of shared future for human kind.
Considering the highest participation and the largest scale, this forum constituted the major diplomatic event initiated and held by China with 29 heads of state and government, 1,500 delegates from over 130 countries and over 70 international organizations, and more than 2,000 journalists attending this forum. H.E. Prof. Costas Kadis, Minister of Education and Culture, was also present at this event as the head of the Cypriot delegation.
In the two-day forum, the participants actively exchanged views on a wide range of topics including the synergy of development strategies, promoting interconnection and connectivity and enhancing cultural exchanges with a broad consensus embodied in the Joint Communiqué which covers five big areas, 76 items and 270 specific agreements concerning policy consultation, trade promotion, infrastructure connectivity, financial cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. Also in the list is the acceptance of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to take Cyprus as a member as well as the Agreement for the Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Titles signed between China and Cyprus.
At the forum, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech to review and summarize the progress made in the construction of the Belt and Road over past four years and put forward recommendations and proposals for further promoting this Initiative. As pledged by President Xi, China is ready to develop friendly cooperation with all participating countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, including that the Chinese government will scale up financing support for the Belt and Road Initiative by contributing an additional RMB 100 billion (around USD 14.5 billion) to the Silk Road Fund; the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China will set up special lending schemes respectively worth RMB 250 billion (around USD 36.3 billion) and RMB 130 billion (around USD 18.9 billion); China will host the China International Import Expo starting from 2018; the Chinese government will offer 2,500 short-term research visits for young foreign scientists and train 5,000 foreign scientists, engineers and managers within the coming 5 years; China will provide assistance worth RMB 60 billion (around USD 8.7 billion) to developing countries and international organizations participating in the Belt and Road Initiative in the 3 coming years; and China will develop new people-to-people exchange platforms such as a Belt and Road News Alliance and a music education alliance. Moreover, President Xi Jinping announced that the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is to be held in 2019.
The Chinese side believes that it is in our common interest to push forward the Belt and Road Initiative and work together to cope with the current challenges facing the world economy. The Belt and Road Initiative is rooted in history but oriented toward the future, and it originates from China but belongs to the world. The Chinese side will work in a spirit of partnership and follow the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits with our shared goal of making policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people more connected. And China will pursue win-win outcomes through greater openness and cooperation, resolve differences and disputes through dialogue and consultation, and work together with others to promote world peace and common prosperity.
The Chinese side believes that with the joint efforts of all parties, we can build the Belt and Road into a road of peace, prosperity, opening up, and innovation and a road connecting different civilizations.
II. "Heart to Heart" Series Cultural Events
People-to-people exchange is an important part of the Belt and Road cooperation. And in the way to build the Belt and Road, the support from peoples of different countries is indispensible. It is imperative to strengthen the friendly exchanges between the peoples, enhance mutual understanding and deepen friendship, which lays a public and social basis for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation. As pointed out by President Xi Jinping at this forum, we need to deepen cultural exchanges, make our cooperation more inclusive and solidly-based, and enable the people to become the main drivers and beneficiaries in pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative.
As two ancient civilizations, China and Cyprus have maintained long-lasting friendly relations with the people of the two countries enjoying amicable feelings with each other. As a Chinese saying goes, friendship, which derives from close contact between the peoples, holds the key to sound state-to-state relations. To further enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and to promote China-Cyprus relations to a new level, the Chinese Embassy in Cyprus has officially launched its "Heart to Heart" Series Culture Events in April and successfully held a reception in memory of the 30th anniversary of Cypro-Chinese Friendship Association. From May 25th to 27th, the first ever China Film Festival will have its opening ceremony in University of Nicosia, and selected Chinese films will be put on big screens in Nicosia, Paphos and Limassol. On June 6th, a thematic seminar on cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative will be held with wide participation from political, business and academic circles. Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy is working to prepare the Chinese Cultural Festival, Chinese Cuisine Festival and Chinese Cultural Night to be held in this September and October. Besides, the Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe is also invited to stage a performance in Cyprus. Therefore, the Embassy takes this opportunity to invite friends from press and other walks of life to participate actively in the above-mentioned cultural exchange activities.