Senior AKEL delegation visits China

A delegation of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) of Cyprus, led by its General Secretary Stephanos Stephanou, recently visited China. AKEL is Cyprus’s communist party and plays a major part in the political life of the country. 

On February 27 Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee (IDCPC), met with Stephanou and his delegation. 

Liu said that AKEL is an important political party in Cyprus. The CPC and AKEL are both Marxist parties, and the two parties maintain close exchanges through various forms, injecting strong impetus into the development of China-Cyprus relations. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Cypriot side to strengthen mutual visits between the two parties at all levels, deepen exchanges of experience in state governance and administration, promote in-depth and solid practical cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and promote the steady and long-term development of China-Cyprus strategic partnership. 

Stephanou noted that AKEL and the CPC share similar ideals and beliefs and are close comrades and friends. AKEL is willing to learn from the CPC’s experience in building socialism with Chinese characteristics and promote the further development of relations between the two parties. AKEL supports the Cypriot government in developing relations with China in an all-round way, firmly adheres to the one-China principle, and appreciates China’s stance on the Cyprus question.

The following day the delegation met with Li Hongzhong, vice chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. Li said that the CPC attaches great importance to friendly relations with AKEL and is willing to strengthen exchanges between political parties and legislative bodies to push China-Cyprus strategic partnership to a higher level.

The following articles were originally published on the website of the IDCPC and by the Xinhua News Agency.

Liu Jianchao Meets with a Delegation of the AKEL of Cyprus

Beijing, February 27th—Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), met here today with a delegation of the Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL) of Cyprus led by Stephanos Stephanou, General Secretary of the AKEL.    

Liu said, the AKEL is an important political party in Cyprus. The CPC and the AKEL are both Marxist parties, and the two Parties maintain close exchanges through various forms, injecting strong impetus into the development of China-Cyprus relations. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Cypriot side to strengthen mutual visits between the two Parties at all levels, deepen exchanges of experience in state governance and administration, promote in-depth and solid practical cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and promote the steady and long-term development of China-Cyprus strategic partnership. The Chinese side appreciates Cyprus’ support and active participation in the three major global initiatives, and is willing to work with the Cypriot side to safeguard world peace and development, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.    

Stephanou noted, the AKEL and the CPC share similar ideals and beliefs and are close comrades and friends. The AKEL is willing to learn from the CPC’s experience in building socialism with Chinese characteristics and promote the further development of relations between the two Parties. The AKEL supports the Cypriot government in developing relations with China in an all-round way, firmly adheres to the one-China principle, and appreciates China’s impartial stance on the Cyprus problem. China has made world-renowned development achievements in recent years. It is believed that under the leadership of the CPC, China will achieve its second centenary goal as scheduled and make greater contributions to world peace and development. As a member of the European Union (EU), Cyprus is willing to actively advance the development of EU-China relations. 

Sun Haiyan, Vice-minister of the IDCPC, was present. 


Senior Chinese legislator meets delegation of Cypriot Progressive Party of Working People

BEIJING, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — Li Hongzhong, vice chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, met with a delegation of the Cypriot Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), led by its general secretary Stefanos Stefanou, in Beijing on Wednesday.

Li, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said that under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China and Cyprus have continuously deepened political mutual trust, and achieved fruitful results in various fields of practical cooperation.

The CPC attaches great importance to friendly relations with the AKEL, and is willing to strengthen exchanges between political parties and legislative bodies to push China-Cyprus strategic partnership to a higher level, Li said.

For his part, Stefanou said that the AKEL adheres to the one-China principle, supports key global initiatives proposed by China, and hopes to strengthen exchanges with the CPC to promote the development of Cyprus-China and EU-China relations. 

Why is China’s economy doing so well and why is that a good thing?

In this thoughtful and highly informative article, Marc Vandepitte – an author on international politics from Belgium – uncovers some of the secrets behind China’s remarkable economic success, and explains why this success should be considered favourably in Europe.

Marc starts by debunking the narrative gaining ground among Western ‘China-watchers’ that China’s economic outlook is grim; after all, “the country is still achieving growth rates that we can only dream of”, in spite of a US-led containment campaign and assorted other challenges.

Marc notes that China’s per capita GDP has increased by a factor of 50 in the last four decades, and that since 1990 China’s share of global industrial production has increased from 2.5 percent to 35 percent. What’s more, “in terms of industrial production of the future – green production – China is the absolute leader.”

The article goes on to explain how China’s economic success is based on a combination of factors, including its socialist model of land ownership, its huge investment in education and health care, its focus on science and technology, and its striking blend of state-led planning and decentralisation.

China’s dramatic successes are driving development throughout the Global South – in particular via the Belt and Road Initiative – but the country’s emergence is also a boon for the West. “Western economies are closely intertwined with the Chinese economy and in many areas the West needs China more than the other way around. For example, Europe cannot possibly achieve its climate goals without China.”

Marc concludes:

Europe stands at an important crossroads in history. Will it allow itself to be dragged into a destructive trade war initiated by the US, or will it succeed in charting its own autonomous course and building a constructive economic relationship with China, based on mutual benefit? The stakes are high.

Peculiar media framing

If you believe the mainstream media, China is in bad shape: the economic engine is said to be sputtering, or worse, the economy is in a downward spiral. Bizarre, as the IMF expects economic growth of 4.6 percent in China this year. That is almost five times as much as in Europe and more than three times as much as in the US.

The Western media are apparently struggling with China’s growth miracle, and so they focus blindly on the problems and challenges. By concentrating on what is going less well, they lose sight of what China is very strong at.

Certainly, the Chinese economy is facing some significant challenges, but despite an aging population and increasing hostility from the West, both in terms of investment and trade, the country is still achieving growth rates that we can only dream of.

In this article, we are exploring the reasons for this decades-long spectacular growth. We also look at why this is a good thing and what is the best way for Europe to respond.

Continue reading Why is China’s economy doing so well and why is that a good thing?

China and Norway call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Since the start of 2024, in its diplomatic dealings with European countries, China has placed considerable emphasis on identifying areas of common ground and promoting friendly cooperation with the continent’s small and medium-sized countries.

Particularly significant in this regard was the early February visit to Beijing by Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide. 

Noting that Eide is the first European foreign minister to visit China in 2024, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Eide’s visit shows the importance Norway attaches to China and the fact that relations between the two countries are maintaining forward momentum. Norway is a uniquely influential European country and one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of those relations. China appreciates the Norwegian government’s objective, rational and friendly view of China’s development, its adherence to the one-China principle and its friendship with China.

Wang Yi stressed that, to promote greater development of China-Norway relations in the next stage the two sides should first uphold the right way to get along with each other, respect the choices of their respective people, and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns. The two sides should deepen practical cooperation, promote bilateral cooperation in various fields with a vision for development and a proactive attitude, strengthen multilateral collaboration, advocate multilateralism, adhere to openness and inclusiveness, and jointly promote peace and prosperity in the world.

Eide said that after 70 years of development, China-Norway relations have entered a mature stage. The Norwegian side firmly adheres to the one-China policy and advocates mutual respect and constructive dialogue to promote greater development of relations between the two countries, so as to jointly build a universal and inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world. 

The two sides have broad space for cooperation in areas such as green transformation, and Norway is ready to work with China to jointly address global challenges such as climate change. China’s great achievements in poverty eradication are admirable and have made important contributions to the global poverty reduction cause.

What was undoubtedly of greatest significance in this visit, given Israel’s current genocidal war in Gaza, is that the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the recent situation in the Middle East and agreed on the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and a substantial increase in humanitarian assistance. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East should be allowed to continue its vital humanitarian work in Gaza and the region, and donor countries were urged not to suspend their support to the Agency. Both sides also agreed on the need to strengthen support for the Palestinian National Authority and to start a political process leading to a two-state solution in which both the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples could live in peace and security. They also expressed concern about the spillover of the rising situation in the Middle East and agreed to continue to maintain communication on the issue.

Besides Norway, other West European countries calling for a ceasefire in Gaza include Ireland, Spain, Belgium, Malta, and Luxembourg, along with the devolved government in Scotland.

Former Minister Eide also met with Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang and Minister Liu Jianchao of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee (IDCPC).

Minister Liu said that the CPC is willing to strengthen exchanges with the Labour Party and other major political parties in Norway, carry out exchanges on governing concepts and development strategies, deepen mutual understanding and trust, and build bridges for local exchanges and practical cooperation between the two countries through inter-party channels, so as to promote the development of bilateral relations.

He also highlighted the need to deepen cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, along with green and maritime issues, as well as winter sports.

The Norwegian Foreign Minister’s Beijing visit was immediately followed by that of Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, who jointly held the third round of China-Switzerland Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He also met with Chinese Vice President Han Zheng.

This visit had been preceded in January by Premier Li Qiang making Switzerland and Ireland his first overseas destinations of 2024.

Also, on February 8, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China and Portugal have upheld the idea of mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness since their diplomatic ties were established, vividly demonstrating the right way for countries to get along with one another. He made the remarks as he exchanged congratulations with his Portuguese counterpart, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, in the wake of the ‘Carnation Revolution’ that overthrew the previous fascist dictatorship.

China and Portugal have properly settled the Macao issue through friendly consultation and taken stock of the situation to establish their comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi added, and noted that the two sides have jointly coped with the global financial crisis and public health challenges, expanded mutually beneficial cooperation among their enterprises, worked together for stronger Belt and Road cooperation and the development of China-EU relations, and upheld multilateralism.

For his part, Rebelo de Sousa said that despite the long distance, Portugal and China have always been getting along and maintained friendly exchanges in political, economic, cultural, social, and other fields.

Noting that bilateral ties have been thriving since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Rebelo de Sousa said the two countries have successfully achieved the smooth handover of Macao, worked together to boost the development of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, and actively carried out multilateral cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo visited China in January, and in a February 2 phone call, Premier Li Qiang and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte agreed to further promote cooperation between their two countries. 

In contrast to some naïve and simplistic analyses of the current international situation that see only a united Global North, essentially devoid of contradictions, China’s sophisticated and nuanced handling of its relations with various countries in Europe, not least with regard to the present war in Gaza, embodies Leninist strategy and tactics as, for example, set out here in VI Lenin’s, “Left-Wing” Communism: an infantile disorder (and further developed by Mao Zedong, particularly with his concept of intermediate zones, as initially set out, for example, in his August 1946 talk with Anna Louise Strong):

“To carry on a war for the overthrow of the international bourgeoisie, a war which is a hundred times more difficult, protracted and complex than the most stubborn of ordinary wars between states, and to renounce in advance any change of tack, or any utilisation of a conflict of interests (even if temporary) among one’s enemies, or any conciliation or compromise with possible allies (even if they are temporary, unstable, vacillating or conditional allies) – is that not ridiculous in the extreme?”

The following articles were originally published on the websites of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Xinhua News Agency.

Wang Yi Holds Talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Espen Barth Eide

On February 5, 2024, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Espen Barth Eide in Beijing.

Noting Eide is the first European foreign minister to visit China in 2024, Wang Yi said Eide’s visit shows the importance Norway attaches to China and the fact that relations between the two countries are maintaining forward momentum. Norway is a uniquely influential European country and one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Norway. After 70 years of development, China-Norway relations have become more mature and resilient, and have maintained a strong endogenous momentum. China appreciates the Norwegian government’s objective, rational and friendly view of China’s development, its adherence to the one-China principle and its friendship with China.

Wang Yi said that the world today has entered a new period of turbulence and change, and the global political, economic and security situation is full of uncertainties. Human society is at a critical crossroads. China believes that the overall direction of pursuing peace and development by people of all countries will not change, the overall dynamics of human civilization moving forward will not change, and the overall trend toward a shared future for the international community will not change. Although China and Norway are geographically apart with different national conditions and systems, the two countries should be the forces of stability, peace and prosperity in the international community. The two sides should insist on candid communication, pragmatically promote cooperation, properly deal with differences, follow the overall direction, overall dynamics and overall trend, and jointly inject more certainty, stability and positive energy into the world.

Wang Yi stressed that to promote greater development of China-Norway relations in the next stage, the two sides should first uphold the right way to get along with each other, respect the choices of their respective people, and accommodate each other’s core interests and major concerns. The two sides should deepen practical cooperation, treat bilateral cooperation in various fields with a vision for development and a proactive attitude, strengthen multilateral collaboration, advocate multilateralism, adhere to openness and inclusiveness, and jointly promote peace and prosperity in the world.

Continue reading China and Norway call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Premier Li Qiang holds talks with Irish President and Taoiseach

In his first overseas visit of 2024, China’s Premier Li Qiang attended the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss resort of Davos and paid official visits to Switzerland and Ireland.

The visit to Ireland coincides with the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ establishment of diplomatic relations, but more generally, as the only other European destination chosen by Premier Li around his attendance at Davos, it represents a significant statement by China regarding its friendly sentiments towards Ireland and its keen desire to promote that relationship.

This was further underlined by two unilateral gestures announced during the visit. With immediate effect, China has reopened its market to Irish beef. China suspended imports last year after a routine check detected an atypical BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as ‘mad cow disease’) case in a cow. China is Ireland’s fourth largest trade partner, and this move was greatly welcomed by the country’s farming community. 

In addition, China added Ireland to its list of countries whose citizens will enjoy visa-free entry.

Following his arrival on January 16, Premier Li held meetings with Irish President Michael D. Higgins and Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar on the 17th.

Premier Li told President Higgins that, although China and Ireland are geographically far apart with different national conditions, they have enjoyed enduring friendship. 

In recent years, he added, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Michael D. Higgins, China-Ireland relations have developed steadily, and bilateral practical cooperation has yielded fruitful results. 

The Irish Times further reported that Li praised Higgins as “a seasoned political leader in Ireland [who has] all along attached importance to Ireland-China relations and followed China’s development.”

China, Li said, stands ready to work with Ireland to adhere to mutual respect and equality, and take the opportunity of the 45th anniversary of China-Ireland diplomatic ties this year to further implement the important consensuses reached by the heads of state of the two countries, continuously enhance mutual understanding and trust, fully accommodate each other’s major interests and core concerns, continuously advance the level and boost the effects of cooperation in various fields, and push for greater development of the China-Ireland strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation.

He added that both sides should practice genuine multilateralism, bridge differences through dialogue and resolve disputes through cooperation, so as to push for better global governance, promote common development and inject greater stability and energy into a world rocked by changes and chaos.

President Higgins recalled his state visit to China in December 2014 and his discussions with President Xi Jinping both during that visit and when President Xi visited Ireland as China’s Vice-President in 2012.

The two statesmen agreed on the need for science and technology to be shared where they have the greatest effect, without borders, and that the test for this should be where it can have the greatest benefit for humanity.

In their discussions, the President also recalled conversations which he had with President Xi in 2014 with regard to the interacting crises of climate change, global poverty, food security, global conflict, and the need to recast development to take account of debt.

In his meeting with Leo Varadkar, Li said that China and Ireland have maintained healthy and stable development of their ties since their establishment of diplomatic relations. China is ready to work with Ireland to carry forward traditional friendship, consolidate political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and share development opportunities more fully, in a bid to bring more benefits to the two countries and the two peoples.

The Chinese Premier expressed his country’s willingness to work with the Irish side to adhere to mutual respect and trust, strive to seek common ground while shelving and resolving differences, deepen mutual understanding, and support each other on major issues.

China and Ireland should continuously expand trade, strengthen cooperation in green and low-carbon development, sustainable agriculture, finance, and other fields, and expand innovation cooperation in digital economy, biomedicine, and artificial intelligence, he added.

Varadkar said that Ireland appreciates China’s great achievements in economic and social development, always abides by the one-China policy, and hopes that China will achieve peaceful reunification at an early date.

Ireland, he added, stands ready to expand two-way investment with China, strengthen bilateral cooperation in such fields as agriculture, food, innovation, and green development, and deepen people-to-people exchanges in education and culture.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and the website of the President of Ireland.

China, Ireland should jointly practice genuine multilateralism: Chinese premier

DUBLIN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — Visiting Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Wednesday called on China and Ireland to work together to uphold a free and open international trading system and practice genuine multilateralism.

Li made the call while meeting with Irish President Michael D. Higgins here in Aras an Uachtarain, the official residence of the Irish president.

Though China and Ireland are geographically apart with different national conditions, they have enjoyed enduring friendship as well as highly compatible development concepts, Li noted.

In recent years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Michael D. Higgins, China-Ireland relations have developed steadily and bilateral practical cooperation has yielded fruitful results, he said.

China stands ready to work with Ireland to adhere to mutual respect and equality, and take the opportunity of the 45th anniversary of China-Ireland diplomatic ties this year to further implement the important consensuses reached by the heads of state of the two countries, continuously enhance mutual understanding and trust, fully accommodate each other’s major interests and core concerns, continuously advance the level and boost the effects of cooperation in various fields, and push for greater development of the China-Ireland strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation, Li said.


The Chinese premier also pointed out that mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Ireland is promising.

Li said China is willing to deepen cooperation with Ireland in such fields as economy, trade and investment, green development as well as scientific and technological innovation.

He also pledged strengthening people-to-people exchanges in education, culture and other fields to facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries.

Both sides should work together to uphold a free and open international trading system and maintain the stable and smooth flow of global industrial and supply chains, Li noted.

He said that both sides should practice genuine multilateralism, bridge differences through dialogue and resolve disputes through cooperation, so as to push for better global governance, promote common development and inject greater stability and energy into a world rocked by changes and chaos.

For his part, Higgins said that relations between Ireland and China have maintained a sound momentum of development and both sides have always adhered to mutual understanding and respect.

Ireland stands ready to strengthen friendly communications with China to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, jointly meet climate change, food security, sustainable development and other global challenges, and deepen the friendship between the two peoples so as to promote the continuous and in-depth development of bilateral ties, he said. 


President meets Premier Li Qiang of the People’s Republic of China

Jan. 17 (President of Ireland) — Uachtarán na hÉireann, President Michael D. Higgins received H.E. Mr Li Qiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, on a courtesy call at Áras an Uachtaráin. Premier Li relayed warm greetings to the President from President Xi Jinping, which were reciprocated by the President.

At their meeting, President Higgins recalled his State Visit to China in December 2014 and his discussions with President Xi Jinping both during that State Visit and when President Xi visited Ireland as China’s Vice-President in 2012.

In their discussions, the President resumed conversations which he had with President Xi in 2014 with regard to the interacting crises of climate change, global poverty, food security, global conflict, and recasting development to take account of debt.

President Higgins further took up some of the points on the five macro-economic principles which Premier Li advanced in his recent special address in Davos. There was agreement between the President and the Premier on the need for science and technology to be shared where they have the greatest effect without borders and there was common agreement that the test for this should be where it can have the greatest benefit for humanity.

The President referred to the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and China, and in that context noted the value of enabling straightforward dialogue on issues between countries with friendly relations to the benefit of all in a fundamental and long-term sense.

In this regard, the President referenced the forthcoming meetings of the Universal Periodic Review taking place in Geneva, the points that are likely to arise during that process, and gave the background to the Irish position on those matters.


Chinese premier says China, Ireland should regard each other as key cooperative partners

DUBLIN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) — China and Ireland should adhere to mutual benefit, and always regard each other as key cooperative partners and development opportunities, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said here Wednesday.

Li made the remarks when meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House, the official Irish state guest house, in the Irish capital of Dublin.

During their talks, Li said China and Ireland have maintained healthy and stable development of their ties since the establishment of their diplomatic relations 45 years ago.

In recent years, particularly, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Michael D. Higgins, the China-Ireland strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation has increasingly deepened, and exchanges and cooperation in various fields have continuously expanded, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples, Li said.

China is ready to work with Ireland to carry forward traditional friendship, consolidate political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and share development opportunities more fully, in a bid to bring more benefits to the two countries and the two peoples, Li noted.

Li expressed China’s willingness to work with the Irish side to adhere to mutual respect and trust, strive to seek common ground while shelving and resolving differences, deepen mutual understanding, and support each other on major issues.

China and Ireland should continuously expand trade, strengthen cooperation in green and low-carbon development, sustainable agriculture, finance and other fields, and expand innovation cooperation in digital economy, biomedicine and artificial intelligence, making the pie of cooperation bigger, he said.

China will apply unilateral visa-free policy to Ireland to facilitate personnel exchanges between the two countries, Li said, voicing the expectation that Ireland will provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises.

China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Ireland within the United Nations and other multilateral frameworks, practice genuine multilateralism, jointly tackle global challenges and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.

It is hoped that Ireland will play a greater role in promoting the sound and stable development of China-Europe relations, said Li.

For his part, Varadkar said that China is an important cooperative partner of Ireland, and the two countries have always adhered to mutual respect and trust.

Ireland appreciates China’s great achievements in economic and social development, always abides by the one-China principle, and hopes that China will achieve peaceful reunification at an early date, he added.

Ireland stands ready to expand two-way investment with China, strengthen bilateral cooperation in such fields as agriculture, food, innovation, and green development, and deepen people-to-people exchanges in education and culture, Varadkar continued.

The Irish side is willing to actively consider providing more convenience for Chinese citizens to visit Ireland, and welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Ireland, he noted, adding that Ireland supports further deepening Europe-China cooperation.

Prior to the talks, Li attended a grand welcome ceremony held by Varadkar and reviewed the Irish Guard of Honor. 

Xi Jinping meets with Cuban and Serbian PMs

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently met with a number of foreign leaders who came to China to attend the Sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE), held in Shanghai.

On November 6, President Xi met with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz. Noting that China and Cuba are good friends, good comrades, and good brothers, Xi said that under the guidance and cultivation of the two countries’ leaders, China and Cuba have worked hand in hand on the path of building socialism with their own characteristics, supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, and cooperated closely on international and regional issues, thus forging an unbreakable bond of trust and friendship.

Xi added that China viewed and developed the special friendly relations between the two parties and countries from a strategic and overall perspective, adhered to the policy of long-term friendship between China and Cuba, and was willing to continue to deepen political mutual trust and strategic coordination with Cuba and carry out theoretical discussions and experience exchanges on party and state governance.

“China will continue to firmly support the Cuban people in opposing foreign interference and blockades and safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity,” he said, and went on to note that Cuba successfully hosted the summit of the Group of 77 and China in September this year, making important contributions to promoting solidarity and cooperation among developing countries. China is willing to work with Cuba to continue to jointly safeguard the sovereignty, security, and development interests of developing countries.

While conveying cordial greetings from Comrade Raul Castro and Cuban President and Communist Party leader Miguel Diaz-Canel, Marrero expressed his pleasure to attend the 6th CIIE in China. He said through this visit, he had learned more deeply about the great achievements China had made in its development, adding that President Xi’s important thoughts on governance are of great inspiration and reference to Cuba and the world.

On the same day, President Xi also met with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic. The Chinese leader said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s attendance at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China and Brnabic’s attendance at the sixth China International Import Expo demonstrated Serbia’s sincere friendship with the Chinese people and firm belief in developing relations with China.

China and Serbia are “iron friends” who have stood together through thick and thin, Xi said, underscoring the profound historical foundation, solid public support, extensive common interests and strong impetus for cooperation of their bilateral relations.

He called on the two sides to make joint efforts to build and operate major cooperation projects, promote the early entry into force of the China-Serbia free trade agreement, strengthen cooperation in science and technology innovation, deepen cooperation in education, sports, and tourism, expand personnel exchanges, and inherit and carry forward China-Serbia friendship.

Brnabic said that China had become Serbia’s largest investment partner, and bilateral cooperation projects had changed the face of Serbia’s national development. The conclusion of the free trade agreement between the two countries in half a year fully demonstrates the firm determination of both sides to further deepen relations. China has always supported Serbia in safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity, for which the Serbian people are deeply grateful.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Xi meets Cuban prime minister, calling for further strategic coordination

BEIJING, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday met with Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Noting China and Cuba are good friends, good comrades, and good brothers, Xi said under the guidance and cultivation of the two countries’ leaders, China and Cuba had worked hand in hand on the path of building socialism with their own characteristics, supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, and cooperated closely on international and regional issues, thus forging an unbreakable bond of trust and friendship.

Continue reading Xi Jinping meets with Cuban and Serbian PMs

Clare Daly: ‘derisking’ from China would be suicidal for European industry

In this episode of the CGTN program Dialogue, Xu Qinduo interviews Clare Daly, the outspoken, anti-imperialist member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Ireland on the EU’s attitude towards the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, as well as on China.

Clare notes that the recent resolution on Gaza adopted by the European parliament, which she and her colleague Mick Wallace voted against, did not address the root causes of the conflict or the crimes, including ethnic cleansing and genocide, perpetrated by the Israeli apartheid state. The EU and the United States, she notes, are complicit in Israeli genocide and that makes them equally culpable in international law.

On Ukraine, she is not presently hopeful of prospects for peace. Rather she fears that working class Ukrainian men will continue to be killed in the interests of western arms companies who seek to perpetuate the conflict. 

Asked about the moves to expand NATO to Asia, possibly starting with the establishment of an office in Tokyo, Clare responds that she has said before that the last bite of a dying snake is the most dangerous. US hegemony is in decline and there is no going back on this. But in its lashing out in desperation it is very dangerous. In this regard, she cites President Biden’s recent demand for US$100 bn for not only Israel and Ukraine but Taiwan as well. She feels that the US managed to provoke Russia and now seeks to do the same to China over Taiwan. However, she believes that Chinese diplomacy is more measured and the country will not walk into a similar trap.

Asked what impressed her most on her recent visit to China, she says there is not enough time to recount all the amazing things she saw. China, she notes, has built whole cities, but in Dublin it has not been possible to build even one metro station in 30 years. Ireland does not have a single high-speed train and neither does the US. Unfortunately, the EU has been following the US in seeking to restrict relations with China under the guise of ‘derisking’ and similar terms. Such a policy, she notes, if followed through, would be suicidal for European industry. In the face of these provocations, Clare advises China to continue with its diplomatic overtures and says she can think of nothing that China should be doing differently.

Within this situation, Clare asserts that Ireland has a special role to play. The EU is largely made up of former colonising powers or former socialist countries. Ireland, however, was colonised. It knows what it is like to be oppressed. Therefore, Ireland can be a voice for neutrality, non-alignment, multilateral cooperation and international solidarity.

The full interview with Clare Daly MEP is embedded below.

Liu Jianchao: the peoples of China and Iceland have an indomitable spirit of struggle

In the first week of October, Minister Liu Jianchao of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, led a delegation to visit Iceland.

Meeting with Iceland’s Foreign Minister, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir on October 7, Liu said that, despite different national conditions, the two countries have similar historical experiences, and the two peoples have an indomitable spirit of struggle. The Chinese side has always upheld the principles of mutual respect and equality among all countries regardless of their size, actively developed China-Iceland relations, and regarded Iceland as a trustworthy good friend.

Liu’s reference to similar historical experiences and an indomitable spirit of struggle is significant and apposite. Having been under Danish colonial rule for centuries, during which the people suffered from dire poverty and mass emigration, an independence movement emerged from the 1850s onwards. Iceland finally won national independence in 1944.

Between 1958-61, 1972-73 and 1975-76, Iceland fought the so-called ‘cod wars’ against Britain, supported by West Germany, regarding the extension of its territorial waters and fishing rights in the North Atlantic, on which the country’s economy and diet were both heavily dependent. Iceland emerged victorious against British imperialism in all these disputes, a remarkable victory for a small country whose population (2023 figure) is just 375,000. Iceland’s victories also contributed to the democratisation of the international law of the sea and helped numerous countries of the Global South to enhance their sovereignty over their territorial waters and marine resources.

From 2009-2011, the Icelandic people waged the ‘pots and pans revolution’ in response to the devastating impact of the global financial crisis on their country, which was exacerbated by the pursuit of short-sighted neoliberal policies in the preceding years.

Turning to the environment, Liu went on to say that China tries to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, and is willing to deepen cooperation with the Icelandic side in climate change, green energy, sustainable development and other aspects.

Iceland is a world leader in geothermal energy and fighting the looming threat of climate catastrophe and promoting sustainable development was a main theme of Liu’s visit.

Gylfadóttir said that the Icelandic side attaches great importance to developing relations with China. Iceland is the first European country to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with China and the first Western European country to recognise China’s market economy status. Both countries have great cooperation potential in energy transition, climate change and other aspects. It is hoped that both sides will strengthen exchanges, share respective successful experiences, and help the international community better respond to global challenges.

The previous day, Liu met with Birgir Ármannsson, Speaker of Iceland’s Parliament, and had exchanges with members of parliament from different political parties, including the Independence Party, Left-Green Movement, Social Democratic Alliance, Pirate Party, and People’s Party. The present Icelandic government is a three-party coalition formed by the Independence Party, Progressive Party and Left-Green Movement.

China’s development, Liu said, will provide broad development space for China-Iceland cooperation and new opportunities for the growth of all countries. The Chinese side is willing to strengthen cooperation with the Icelandic side in economy, trade, geothermal, tourism, communication, and cooperation at local level. Iceland is a major country of clean energy. It is hoped that the two sides will strengthen cooperation in ecological civilisation construction and jointly make the Earth a place where people and nature can coexist in harmony and economy and environment can advance in parallel.

The members of Iceland’s parliament happily recalled their visits to China and the stories of exchanges with China. They spoke highly of the great development achievements the Chinese people have made under the leadership of the CPC. They expected to intensify mutual visits and exchanges and strengthen practical cooperation to benefit the two peoples. In recent years, extreme climate events have occurred frequently, posing severe challenges to human survival and development. The Icelandic side spoke highly of the Chinese side’s important contributions to global sustainable development and expressed the willingness to deepen cooperation with China in fields such as geothermal and climate change based on existing cooperation, benefit more developing countries and contribute to the protection of the Earth, the homeland for humanity.

The same day, Liu also met with Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of Iceland and Chairman of the Arctic Circle. Describing Grímsson as a friend of China, Liu said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Iceland more than 50 years ago, the two sides have always carried out practical cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win results, becoming a model for win-win cooperation between countries with different social systems, histories, and cultures. He thanked the Icelandic side for supporting China’s participation in Arctic affairs and expressed the willingness to strengthen Arctic cooperation and coordination in international affairs, promote the improvement of global governance, as well as the healthy and stable development of China-Iceland relations.

Grímsson said: “I am willing to actively promote Iceland-China friendship and enhance the understanding of China among people of all walks of life in Iceland. China has huge development potential… Last month, I visited China to participate in the 2023 World Geothermal Congress in Beijing. Many standards of the global geothermal industry were released for the first time during the conference. The world today is facing severe challenges such as climate change. Energy transformation is the key to solving this problem. China can play a leading role in the world in this regard.”

On his way to Iceland, Liu made a stopover in Copenhagen Airport, where he met with Jeppe Tranholm-Mikkelsen, Permanent Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

Liu said, this year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Denmark comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides released a Green Joint Work Programme recently, injecting new impetus into the mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries. We look forward to further strengthening exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in economy, trade, environmental protection, climate change, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

China, he added, will unswervingly promote high-level opening up to the outside world, constantly provide impetus for world economic recovery and growth, and provide mutually beneficial cooperation opportunities for investors from various countries, including Denmark. Trends such as deglobalisation, severing supply chains, and de-risking are not in line with the trend of the times. De-risking advocated by some in fact throws away opportunities and cooperation and will ultimately harm the world economy and the interests of all countries. Under the current situation, the international community should work together to promote world economic recovery and prosperity.

Jeppe said, the Green Joint Work Programme released by the two sides has built a new platform for further cooperation between the two countries. It is hoped that both sides will fully tap into the huge opportunities brought by green transformation and promote greater development of Denmark-China relations.

He added that Denmark opposes “decoupling” from China, but went on to disingenuously claim, quite possibly reflecting the pressures being brought to bear on relatively small European countries by US and EU imperialism, that “de-risking” is not aimed at China but aims to ensure the security of the supply chain.

He also said that China has made rapid progress in green energy and other fields and has already provided technologies and solutions for the world. China is an important force in the global response to climate change, he added.

The following articles were originally published on the website of the CPC International Department.

Liu Jianchao Meets with Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland

Reykjavík, October 7th—Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, met here today with Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland.

Liu said, China-Iceland relations have shown good momentum of continuous development. Despite different national conditions, the two countries have similar historical experiences and the two peoples have an indomitable spirit of struggle. The Chinese side has always upheld the principles of mutual respect and equality among all countries regardless of their size, actively developed China-Iceland relations, and regarded Iceland as a trustworthy good friend. It is hoped that the two sides will continue to strengthen cooperation in economy, trade, investment, environmental protection, tourism and other areas. China strives to peak its carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieves carbon neutrality before 2060, and is willing to deepen cooperation with the Icelandic side in climate change, green energy, sustainable development and other aspects. The Chinese side appreciates Iceland’s commitment to the right direction of free trade and economic globalization, and hopes that the two sides will expand cooperation at the Nordic sub-regional, European and global levels and jointly shoulder the responsibility of responding to global challenges.

Continue reading Liu Jianchao: the peoples of China and Iceland have an indomitable spirit of struggle

Liu Jianchao meets with Irish leaders

Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC), led a delegation of his department to visit Britain, Ireland and Italy in the second half of June. His meetings in Ireland included with Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann (the presiding officer of the Senate, the upper house of the Oireachtas, or Irish parliament), Bertie Ahern, former leader of Fianna Fáil, former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, and Co-chair of the InterAction Council, and Eamon Ryan, Leader of the Green Party and Minister for Transport, as well as Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications of Ireland.

Senator Buttimer said that both Ireland and China have splendid culture and art. The two countries enjoy close cooperation in areas including economy, trade, science, education, and agriculture, as well as robust people-to-people and cultural exchanges and exchanges at local levels. The friendship between Ireland and China is deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. Ireland, he said, speaks highly of China’s important efforts and achievements in helping the development of Africa and other developing countries.

Bertie Ahern congratulated China on its great achievements in economic and social development and in successfully lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, and expressed full confidence in China’s development prospects. He said, both Ireland and China cherish respective excellent traditional culture, and attach importance to education, innovation and development.

Minister Liu responded that since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China-Ireland relations have always maintained healthy and stable development. Despite different history, culture and social system of the two sides, they have both adhered to mutual respect, tolerated differences, continuously consolidated mutual trust, constantly expanded consensus, and carried out exchanges and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. The CPC, he added, is willing to strengthen inter-party exchanges and cooperation with all political parties of Ireland, exchange experience in state governance and administration, push economic and trade cooperation, and enhance non-governmental friendship.

Meeting Minister Ryan from the Green Party, Liu said that Ireland is one of the countries in the world that loves green development the most. And the Green Party of Ireland has actively contributed to the cause of domestic and global green development. Pursuing harmonious co-existence between people and nature and striving for sustainable development has become the important consensus between China and Ireland. He added that the Chinese side is willing to, together with the Irish side, adhere to mutual understanding and mutual respect, deepen cooperation in areas such as renewable energy, clean development, energy conservation, environmental protection, and addressing climate change, so as to promote the development of a China-Ireland strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Ryan said that he had visited China in 1987, 2010 and 2023, and was deeply impressed by China’s development achievements. China is a major energy producer and consumer, as well as a major producer of clean energy technology and equipment. The Green Party of Ireland appreciates the concept of ‘lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets’, put forward by President Xi Jinping, he noted.

The following reports were first published on the website of the IDCPC.

Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann of Ireland Meets with Liu Jianchao

Dublin, June 23rd—Jerry Buttimer, Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann of Ireland, met here today with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Buttimer welcomed Liu on behalf of the Oireachtas. He said, both Ireland and China have splendid culture and art. The two countries enjoy close cooperation in areas including economy, trade, science, education, and agriculture, as well as robust people-to-people and cultural exchanges and exchanges at local levels. The friendship between Ireland and China is deeply rooted in the hearts of the two peoples. The Oireachtas attaches great importance to developing relations with China and adheres to the one-China principle. Ireland speaks highly of China’s important efforts and achievements in helping the development of Africa and other developing countries. He expressed the willingness to strengthen dialogue and communication with the Chinese side, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields such as parliament and political parties, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation between Ireland and China for greater development.

Continue reading Liu Jianchao meets with Irish leaders

CPC deepens ties with Central and Eastern European Marxist parties

On June 2, the delegation met with Liu Jianchao, Minister of the Communist Party of China’s International Department (IDCPC). Liu told the visitors that the CPC and the communist parties and left-wing parties from Central and Eastern European countries visiting China this time are all Marxist parties. Both sides should strengthen theoretical discussions and jointly tell the stories of Marxism in the 21st century and the communist parties in our respective countries. And both sides should deepen exchanges and mutual learning in the concept and experiences of party building and state governance, better assist each other in advancing the adaptation of Marxism to the local context and the needs of our times, and explore development paths for socialism. Both sides should also strengthen solidarity and cooperation on multilateral platforms, safeguard common interests, and push relations between China and Central and Eastern European countries as well as China-Europe relations more generally.

Leaders of the various parties said that their visit to China had allowed them to witness the tremendous achievements China has made in the economic, social, and cultural fields, fully demonstrating the superiority of the socialist system and indicating that socialism is not only viable but also represents the future of the world. China’s achievements have provided confidence and inspiration for other countries around the world, and more and more countries hope to strengthen cooperation with China, while more and more political parties hope to enhance exchanges and mutual learning with the CPC on state governance and administration.

The following article was originally carried on the website of the IDCPC.

Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, met here today with a delegation of political parties from Central and Eastern European countries led by Katerina Konecna, Chairwoman of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and Member of the European Parliament from the Czech Republic.

Liu said, China and Central and Eastern European countries have a long-standing traditional friendship, and bilateral cooperation has maintained good development momentum in recent years. Inter-party exchanges are an important support for the development of state-to-state relations. The CPC and the communist parties and left-wing parties from Central and Eastern European countries visiting China this time are all Marxist parties. Both sides should strengthen theoretical discussions and jointly tell the stories of Marxism in the 21st century and the communist parties in our respective countries. Both sides should deepen exchanges and mutual learning in the concept and experiences on party building and state governance, better assist each other in advancing the adaption of Marxism to the local context and the needs of our times, and explore development paths for socialism. Both sides should also strengthen solidarity and cooperation on multilateral platforms, safeguard common interests, and push relations between China and Central and Eastern European countries as well as China-Europe relations for further development.

Continue reading CPC deepens ties with Central and Eastern European Marxist parties

Friendly ties between the communists of China and Cyprus reaffirmed

Ties of friendship and solidarity between the communists of China and Cyprus were reaffirmed in a June 1st meeting between Zhu Rui, Assistant Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee (IDCPC), and Nicos Ioannou, Political Bureau member of the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus (AKEL). 

Originally founded as the Communist Party of Cyprus, the party assumed its present name due to British colonial repression. AKEL is a major force in Cypriot politics and society. It presently holds 15 out of 56 seats in the Cypriot parliament and two of the country’s six seats in the European Parliament. A former General Secretary of the party, Dimitris Christofias, served as President of Cyprus, 2008-2013.

The below short article originally appeared on the website of the IDCPC

Zhu Rui, Assistant-minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, met here today on the morning with Nicos Ioannou, the member of the Political Bureau of the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus.

Zhu spoke positively of the relations between the two Parties and the two countries, saying that the CPC attaches great importance to the friendly inter-party relations with the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus, and is willing to further strengthen exchanges and mutual learning between the two Parties on policies and concepts, thus jointly promoting the healthy and stable development of the relations between China and the European Union (EU).

Ioannou said that the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus cherishes the traditional friendship with the CPC and stands ready to promote pragmatic cooperation in economy and trade with China, so as to actively contribute to the development of Cyprus-China and EU-China relations.

Embassy spokesperson responds to Irish politician’s remarks on China

On Tuesday May 2, Micheál Martin, Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister), as well as Minister for Foreign Affairs and for Defence, of the Republic of Ireland, and leader of the  Fianna Fáil party, delivered a major speech at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin on the question of his country’s relations with China. 

Whilst acknowledging that this relationship is valued, and highlighting the €34.5 billion in two-way trade as well as “enduring links in education, in culture and in tourism,” Martin echoed a number of European politicians, as well as US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in calling for ‘de-risking’ Ireland’s ties with China. The financial news service Bloomberg noted that, in so doing, Martin had positioned Ireland in opposition to the recent call by French President Emmanuel Macron for a more constructive relationship with China. According to the Irish Times, Martin stated:

“We must be clear-eyed about China’s strategic objectives and about what these might mean for the European Union and Ireland.

“Ireland’s message on human rights will remain consistent, whether in relation to Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong, or elsewhere – China has an obligation to act in a manner that ensures full respect for the rule of law.”

He further called on China to use its “considerable influence” to end Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.

Responding to the speech, the Chinese Embassy in Ireland said that it had “taken note of the positive elements… that Ireland values its bilateral relationship with China and wants to work constructively together with China; that Ireland reaffirms it adheres to the one-China policy,” but continued:

“Regrettably, the speech over-exaggerated the differences between China and Ireland and emphasized the concept of ‘de-risking’ with China. It also made misleading comments on China’s stance on current international hot issues and made groundless accusations against China on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong, interfering in China’s internal affairs.”

Stressing that it disagreed with the concept of ‘de-risking’ and the idea that differences in worldview would “inevitably shape” the way the two countries viewed one another, the Embassy noted that: “The tremendous development of bilateral cooperation between China and Ireland over the past more than 40 years has fully demonstrated the fact that China and Ireland share extensive common interests, the convergence of our views far outweighs our differences, and our cooperation far outweighs our competition.”

On the Ukraine crisis, it said that: “China always stands on the side of peace. Its core stance is to facilitate talks for peace. China did not create the Ukraine crisis, nor is it a party to the crisis.”

Regarding the Taiwan issue, the embassy stated that, “just as ‘no one group can have a veto on Ireland’s future’, no one can have a veto on Chinese people’s aspiration and determination to achieve national reunification.”

It added that “a lot of international friends who have been to Xinjiang said that what they saw with their own eyes in Xinjiang is completely different from what has been portrayed by Western media. We welcome Irish friends from all walks of life to visit Xinjiang and find out the true picture there, instead of being misled by Xinjiang-related lies.

Towards its conclusion, it invoked the words of the late John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in the north of Ireland, and an architect of the Good Friday Agreement, which recently marked its 25th anniversary:

“Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth, and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.” 

We reprint below the full text of the statement. It originally appeared on the website of the Chinese Embassy in the Republic of Ireland.

Question: On 2nd May, Micheál Martin, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, delivered a speech mainly on China and China-Ireland relations. What is the Chinese Embassy’s comment?

Answer: We have taken note of the positive elements of the speech that Ireland values its bilateral relationship with China and wants to work constructively together with China; that Ireland reaffirms it adheres to one-China policy.

Continue reading Embassy spokesperson responds to Irish politician’s remarks on China

Aleksandar Vučić: The world looks to China for innovative solutions that help tackle the challenges of the future

We are pleased to republish the speech given by  Aleksandar Vučić, President of the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and the Republic of Serbia, at the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-level Meeting, which was organized by the Communist Party of China on 15 March. It was originally carried on the website of the CPC’s International Department.

Congratulating Xi Jinping on his re-election as Chinese President, Vučić stressed that: “Your leadership is more critical than ever, as the world faces unprecedented challenges that demand bold and visionary solutions.”

Reviewing relations between the two countries, President Vučić noted that both China and Serbia advocate, “strict compliance with the basic principles of international law. The UN Charter does not distinguish the big and the small, the strong and the weak, but it rather establishes rules of conduct amongst equals… China and Serbia insist on the fact that all states must have equal rights and equal voice in the highest political forums.”

Referring to the status of Kosovo, Vučić said that China has, “always provided Serbia with diplomatic support for our territorial integrity, and our attempts to defend the international legal order. We are grateful to the People’s Republic of China for its down to the letter respect of the United Nations Resolution 1244, which guarantees peace and integrity to our country.” Equally, he added, Serbia fully supports the one-China policy.

Surveying the economic aspects of bilateral relations, Vučić noted that, “Chinese involvement in infrastructure, energy and mining sectors in Serbia has significantly boosted our economy, creating jobs and opportunities for our citizens, and has helped promote cooperation and exchange between our two nations.” Especially, China has helped Serbia’s important infrastructure projects, including the modernization and construction of roads, bridges and railways. China has also invested in Serbia’s energy, technology, agriculture and tourism.

Honorable friends,
Presidents from political parties and countries from all over the world,
Members of Central Committee,
Most honorable Friend President Xi Jinping,

Congratulations on your historic third term as President of your Great country. This remarkable achievement is a testament to your unwavering dedication to serving the Chinese people and advancing the prosperity and stability of your nation. Under your leadership, China has achieved continuous economic growth and has become a leading global power. Your visionary approach to development, your commitment to innovation, and your steadfast focus on building a better future for all of the Mankind.

Dear Friend,

As you embark on this new term as President, I have no doubt that you will continue to lead China with wisdom, strength, and compassion. Your leadership is more critical than ever, as the world faces unprecedented challenges that demand bold and visionary solutions.

My dear Friends,

A great leader and guarantor of security, China, has the privilege of being led by a visionary like President Xi. I would like to start my speech by quoting my friend, architect of peace, President Xi Jinping. He once observed that “peace is like air and sun. We hardly notice him. None of us can live without peace.” The entirety of my public service and my diplomatic discourse is based on my ambition to promote Peace, Solidarity and Cooperation amongst the peoples and nations that comprise the Humanity. What a difficult task that is! Specially today in this ever-changing world full of disparity, inequality and hatred.

Continue reading Aleksandar Vučić: The world looks to China for innovative solutions that help tackle the challenges of the future

The France-China strategic partnership: towards a different type of international relations?

The recent state visit of French President Macron to China, and his subsequent comments regarding Taiwan and the overlapping relationships between China, Europe and the United States, have led to considerable furore on the part of other imperialist powers and politicians and certainly appear to indicate a significant breach in the coalition that US President Biden has been seeking to construct against China. 

In this thoughtful and incisive analysis, written specially for Friends of Socialist China, Dr Jenny Clegg, author and campaigner, who is a member of our advisory group, takes a deep dive into the issues surrounding the visit and its aftermath, including:

  • To what extent does it indicate a return to a more independent Gaullist tradition in French foreign policy?
  • Does the Sino-French 51-point Joint Statement offer a fresh template for relations between major developed and developing countries?
  • How can all this contribute to the search for peace in Ukraine and to averting the danger of war in the Asia Pacific Region?
  • How does it relate to President Xi Jinping’s recently announced Global Civilisation Initiative?

Jenny concludes with the observation that, “even if the path is twisted, multipolarity is the objective trend – and a work in progress.”

Introduction

The French President Emmanuel Macron departed for China in early April, apparently on a mission on behalf of the ‘collective West’ to get President Xi Jinping to “bring Russia to its senses”; he came away, however, with quite a different message, calling on the EU to not be too dependent on the US.  It seems it was Xi’s mission to encourage Macron’s Gaullist instinct for ‘strategic autonomy’ that prevailed over the course of the three day state visit.

The fact that Macron was accompanied by a large group of businesspeople suggested that other, more commercial, motives were also at play. Indeed, China’s offer to bulk purchase 140 Airbus aircraft for $17bn was very generous. But this visit was by no means simply just another delegation along the vaunted ‘commerce over human rights’ pattern.

The meeting between leaders of the second and the seventh largest world economies – the largest developing and fourth largest developed respectively –  between two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and officially recognised nuclear powers, was made all the more significant by the exceptional times. 

The summit took place following a few short weeks of intense diplomatic manoeuvres – from China’s Ukraine and Middle East peace initiatives and summitry with Putin to the bizarre Sinophobic ‘balloon incident’ in the US, which saw Secretary of State Antony Blinken call off his visit to China, and, in the Pacific, the AUKUS expansion of nuclear-powered submarine capacity. All this reflected the extremely precarious situation internationally, with the Ukraine conflict on the verge of escalation, and now US provocations over Taiwan, potentially bringing major powers to the point of a Third World War.

The prospect of working towards a lasting Sino-French comprehensive strategic partnership held the promise of injecting some rationality into a chaotic situation in danger of veering out of control.

For China, the summit was a key part of its major power diplomacy aimed at promoting a sound interaction between the world’s main players as set out in its recently released Global Security Initiative Concept Paper.  As major powers, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, as China sees it, China and France have a particular responsibility to address the current situation of growing global deficits in peace, development, security and governance, even as the international community confronts multiple risks and challenges.

The Sino-French 51 point joint statement

US President Biden’s New Cold War China policy formula to ‘compete, confront and cooperate’ carries great risks of muddle and incoherence in practice whilst narrowly and unrealistically restricting cooperation to the window of climate change.

The 51-point France-China Joint Statement in contrast opens up a wide range of areas for cooperation – political and strategic; economic and business; cultural and educational – and not only on a bilateral but also a multilateral basis, setting the frame, as major powers on the world stage, of “a shared view of a multipolar world” with “the United Nations at its core”.

On the vital question of the Ukraine crisis, there was support for “efforts to restore peace…on the basis of international law and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter” and, although there was no explicit call for a ceasefire, acknowledgement of Russia’s legitimate security concerns or opposition to unilateral sanctions – all covered in China’s 12 point proposal on the Ukraine crisis – what was of significance was the call for “no action that could heighten the risk of tension”,  given recognition of the dangers of escalation and even nuclear war.

On bilateral cooperation, from artificial intelligence and the digital economy, including 5G, from the general improvement of market access on both sides, to science and technology cooperation, language teaching, inter-university and cultural exchanges, there is little evidence of the paranoia that now permeates the US, UK and the rest of the Anglosphere over alleged Chinese ‘spying’ and the supposed hidden threat in all these to national security.

Continue reading The France-China strategic partnership: towards a different type of international relations?

France is correct to pursue strategic autonomy

French president Emmanuel Macron’s recent comments in Beijing that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours” have attracted condemnation from the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (an international alliance of China hawks including Marco Rubio and Iain Duncan Smith), which accuses Macron of “appeasing” Beijing and failing to stand up for democracy.

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez responded to IPAC’s vitriol in a brief interview with the Morning Star, pointing out that Macron’s comments are essentially a reiteration of the Gaullism that has oriented French foreign policy since the late 1950s. That France should pursue an independent foreign policy based on its own interests, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable. Instead of issuing hysterical condemnation of Macron, British politicians would be well advised to follow the example of seeking strategic autonomy and establishing a sensible distance from the US’s reckless New Cold War.

BRITAIN would be well advised to follow [French President Emmanuel] Macron’s example in staying out of a US confrontation with Beijing, a China expert says.

Mr Macron told reporters following a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that European countries should avoid “just being America’s followers” and “getting caught up in crises that are not ours.”

He singled out rising tensions over Taiwan, asking: “Is it in our interests to accelerate [a crisis] on Taiwan? No. The worst thing would be to … take our cue from the US agenda and a Chinese overreaction.”

Thirteen British MPs signed an attack on Mr Macron drafted by the Inter-parliamentary Alliance on China, an international assemblage of legislators. It condemns “Beijing’s aggressive stance towards Taiwan” and voices dismay at the French president for “appeasing” China.

But author Carlos Martinez told the Morning Star: “That France should pursue an independent foreign policy, rather than acting as a proxy of the US, is obviously reasonable.

“On this question, Britain would be well advised to follow Macron’s example, although the current political configuration makes that difficult. The hard right in the Conservative Party is pushing for deeper alignment with (or subservience to) the US ruling class, and it’s found an unlikely bedfellow in the Labour leadership.

“It is crucial that Britain stop outsourcing its foreign policy to Washington. British people have much to gain from friendly relations, trade, co-operation and people-to-people exchanges with China.

“Such relations must of course be based on mutual respect, which means we should respect China’s sovereignty and accept that the Taiwan issue can only be solved by the Chinese people on both sides of the strait.”

Chinese Ambassador visits Northern Ireland

In late March, Zheng Zeguang, China’s Ambassador to the UK, paid his first official visit to Northern Ireland. Despite strained relations between London and Beijing, this visit was a great success, with the Ambassador meeting a wide range of people from political, academic, business and other social circles, in  his two-city tour of Belfast and Derry.

On March 27, Ambassador Zheng met Sinn Féin’s Christina Black, the current Lord Mayor of Belfast. Mayor Black warmly welcomed the Ambassador and his delegation. She said that, in 2016, Belfast became a sister city of Shenyang, and since then the two sides have made positive progress in mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, education, and culture. Belfast has world-renowned universities and unique advantages in high-end manufacturing, green development, and many other areas. It is a city full of vitality, hope, and warmth. She was eagerly looking forward to unleashing the cooperation potential between China and Belfast through Ambassador Zheng’s visit, and welcomes more Chinese investors, students and tourists to come to Belfast.

Ambassador Zheng thanked the Lord Mayor for her warm hospitality. He said that during his visit to Belfast, he had a taste of the city’s historical heritage and unique political, economic, and cultural characteristics. The Ambassador expressed his hope for joint efforts of the two sides to promote mutual understanding, deepen friendship, and advance exchanges and cooperation.

Ambassador Zheng said that China is promoting high-quality development and will continue to pursue opening up at a higher level and accelerate green transformation. There is great potential for cooperation between China and Belfast on business, education, cultural exchanges, and tourism. It is hoped that Belfast and Shenyang will strengthen exchanges and cooperation as sister cities to bring more tangible benefits to the people of both sides.

Speaking on camera to China Daily after the meeting, Black said: “I have to say our relationship with China is fantastic.”

On being elected Lord Mayor in June last year, Councillor Black had said: “I love this city. I was born and raised here in a strong working-class community and I am immensely proud to be a Bealfeirstian…

“As a community activist, I am committed to empowering local people and communities, and making sure people have a strong voice on their side. It’s what inspired me to get involved in politics, and I am honoured to now be representing the city I love so much, as its First Citizen.”

Councillor Black said one of her priorities for her term in office was to showcase Belfast’s diversity, and support workers and families through the cost of living crisis. She said:

“I’m delighted to have this amazing opportunity. I’m passionate about this city and its people and I can’t wait to get out and meet new people and find out more about the amazing work that’s going on in communities right across our city. I will be Belfast’s biggest ambassador and will use my time in office to keep pushing forward priorities around the inclusive regeneration of our city.

“Belfast is a confident and thriving city with enormous untapped potential to prosper further. The opportunities for our city to grow are endless and working together we can seize them. During my term I want to be a positive voice for everyone in this wonderful city.”

The following day, Ambassador Zheng met with Alex Maskey, the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.  Maskey is a veteran leader of Sinn Féin who has devoted his whole life to the struggle for Irish freedom. He was interned without trial twice in the 1970s and survived two assassination attempts. 

The two had an in-depth exchange of views on enhancing cooperation between China and Northern Ireland in various fields.

Both sides believe that there is great potential for mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Northern Ireland and that fruitful results have been achieved at the China-UK/Northern Ireland Forum on New Energy Innovation. China and Northern Ireland should strengthen exchanges and dialogue, deepen mutual understanding, and actively expand cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, new energy, financial services, education, culture, and tourism, so as to better benefit their people.

On March 29, the Ambassador met with the Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Sinn Féin’s Sandra Duffy. Mayor Duffy warmly welcomed Ambassador Zheng and his delegation and outlined the city’s development in recent years and its future plans. She said that Derry has a number of favourable conditions, such as its geographical advantage of connecting the European Union and the United Kingdom. It has identified new energy, digital economy, high-end manufacturing, financial services, and health as the key sectors for future development, and Chinese entrepreneurs are welcome to invest in the city. Derry and Dalian have carried out sister-city cooperation for five years, and the two sides have achieved positive results in mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, education, research and development, tourism, and culture. The city views China as an opportunity for development and looks forward to expanding exchanges and cooperation through the Ambassador’s visit.

Ambassador Zheng thanked Mayor Duffy for her warm hospitality, and expressed his hope that through his visit, mutual understanding between China and Northern Ireland will be enhanced and friendship and cooperation deepened. Although China-UK relations are currently facing some challenges, local practical cooperation has been growing steadily, which reflects the huge potential of cooperation between the two sides and the shared aspirations of the two peoples. China will continue to actively support Dalian and other Chinese cities to expand friendly exchanges and cooperation with Derry, especially to further tap into the potential for cooperation in areas such as economy and trade, education, culture, tourism, sports, new energy, and high-end manufacturing, so as to better benefit the people of both sides.

In her meeting with the Ambassador, the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service Jayne Brady said that Northern Ireland has long-standing friendly exchanges with China and attaches great importance to developing relations with the country. Northern Ireland enjoys strong technological advantages in fields such as green economy, financial services, and food safety, and has the geographical advantage of being a bridge connecting the two major markets of the European Union and the United Kingdom. She welcomes Chinese companies to invest in Northern Ireland and hopes that hydrogen-powered buses, whiskey and other products from Northern Ireland can enter the Chinese market. Northern Ireland would also like to further expand exchanges and cooperation with China in education, culture, and tourism, among other areas.

Ambassador Zheng said that in recent years, China and Northern Ireland have carried out fruitful cooperation in economy and trade, education, culture, and other fields, bringing tangible benefits to both sides and that there are great potential and broad prospects for cooperation between the two sides in new energy innovation. China welcomes more high-quality products from Northern Ireland to enter the Chinese market and more friends to go to China, supports the cities and institutions of the two sides to strengthen partnerships, and encourages more two-way personnel exchanges, so as to transform the potential of cooperation into practical cooperation results and bring more benefits to the people of both sides.

Ambassador Zheng also visited Ulster University and Queens University Belfast. He commended Ulster University on its outstanding strength in teaching and research and the positive progress it had made in cooperation with Chinese universities. He also applauded Ulster University Confucius Institute for its important contributions to helping the people of Northern Ireland learn Chinese and understand Chinese history and culture, and to promoting educational cooperation between China and Northern Ireland.

Ambassador Zheng expressed hope for Ulster University to continue to take the lead in cooperation with China, strengthen exchanges and cooperation with Chinese universities, and leverage its complementary advantages to achieve mutual benefit. He also expressed best wishes for greater success of the Confucius Institute, and his hope that it will continue to provide world-class Chinese language teaching to students in Northern Ireland and make positive contributions to enhancing the friendship between the people of China and Northern Ireland.

Vice-Chancellor Paul Bartholomew said that Ulster University cherishes its cooperation with China and has established partnerships with many Chinese universities such as Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine and Shaanxi University of Science and Technology. The relevant cooperation continued uninterrupted even during COVID, which speaks fully to its resilience and strong will to cooperate with Chinese universities. Ulster University looks forward to further strengthening the cooperation, and welcomes more Chinese students to study at the university. Ulster University will continue to run the Confucius Institute well and play an active role in promoting educational cooperation and cultural exchanges between China and Northern Ireland.

Visiting Queen’s University Belfast, Vice-Chancellor Ian Greer said that his university attaches great importance to exchanges and cooperation with Chinese universities and welcomes more Chinese students to study at Queen’s. The university values China’s strength in research and huge potential of development and would like to further deepen cooperation with Chinese scientific research institutions. It was a great honour for him to co-host the China-UK/Northern Ireland Forum on New Energy Innovation with the Chinese Consulate General in Belfast. The forum was a meaningful trial to tap into complementary advantages for win-win results. It is hoped that the two sides will continue to explore and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation and contribute to green and low-carbon development in Northern Ireland and China.

Ambassador Zheng noted that Queen’s is a world-renowned university and stands out for its top-class teaching and research capacity. It is great to see that Queen’s has established cooperative relations with many Chinese universities. China is striving for high-quality development and supports technological innovation. It has a super-size market and unique advantages in ultra-large-scale application of emerging technologies. China is ready to encourage more universities to expand teaching and research cooperation with Queen’s and will encourage more Chinese students to choose it as their destination for studying overseas.

Addressing a welcome reception at the Chinese Consulate General in Belfast, Zheng said that his country will encourage more Chinese groups, enterprises, students and tourists to come to Northern Ireland, and believes that in Northern Ireland they will find a safe and friendly cultural environment and a fair and open business environment. We welcome people from all walks of life in Northern Ireland to visit China more often, and hope that the business community in Northern Ireland will expand into the Chinese market and share development opportunities through platforms such as the China International Fair for Trade in Services, the China International Import Expo, the Canton Fair, and the World Intelligence Congress.

At a press conference the Chinese Ambassador said:

“This is my first visit to Northern Ireland and Belfast. I enjoyed the visit so much. Regional cooperation is a very important component of state-to-state relations. The purpose of my visit is to enhance mutual understanding and promote friendship and cooperation. In the past two days, I had extensive exchanges with people from various sectors in Northern Ireland and discussed with them how best to expand cooperation in various fields between China and Northern Ireland. We all see a huge potential and are keen to broaden cooperation between the two sides. I feel very encouraged by it.

“This morning, I attended the China-UK/Northern Ireland Forum on New Energy Innovation, the first of this kind between China and the UK. The discussions were very productive, and in particular, there was a keen interest on both sides to work together to research and develop hydrogen energy and to put it into application. It is a very good example that China and Northern Ireland can conduct more dialogues and discussions in the traditional areas of investment, trade, education, cultural exchange, tourism, and sports, as well as new areas such as new energy, financial services, financial technology, biomedicine and creative industries. I am optimistic about the opportunities of cooperation between the two sides.”

Responding to a question from CGTN, he said:

“I do see the benefits of cooperation and exchanges between China and Northern Ireland already. In recent years, two-way trade and investment have kept growing, and there are about 2,000 Chinese students studying in Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University and other institutions. The Vice Chancellors of the two universities told me that they want to see more Chinese students coming to Northern Ireland and would like to have stronger cooperation in teaching and research with Chinese universities. The CEO of the corporation which invested and built the Titanic Museum told me that before the pandemic, there were so many Chinese tourists, and that she would love to see more Chinese tourists return to Northern Ireland and Belfast.

“It was an honour for me to have a meeting with Speaker Alex Maskey and talk to the representatives of political parties. I had a very good meeting with the head of the civil service Dr Brady as well. I feel encouraged by their positive attitude towards cooperation with China. I said to my friends here that Northern Ireland is a best kept secret. It is so beautiful, pure, and full of potential. I think in the months to come, you will see more delegations and tourists coming this way. We encourage people from all walks of life here to visit China as well. This cooperation certainly serves the interest of both sides.”

A reporter from Raidió Fáilte asked:Ambassador, on behalf of the Irish speaking community in Belfast, I want to welcome you, on your first visit to our city. Raidió Fáilte are currently working on a series of multi-cultural, multi-lingual projects, with your colleagues in the Confucius institute. In your opinion, how important are these collaborations, and would you like to see similar co-initiatives in the future?”

The Ambassador replied: The cooperation on Confucius Institutes is hugely important as it not only provides opportunities for students here to learn the Chinese language and to better appreciate the Chinese culture, but also helps facilitate cultural exchanges between the two sides.

“The Confucius Institute that I have visited is located at Ulster University. It is a big success, a model institute. It has the support of the British Council, the support of the University and the support of the Chinese Consulate General as well. It is so popular among the young students. I was able to meet with a group of ‘young ambassadors’. The students are speaking perfect Mandarin and they will obviously become citizens of the world. When they travel to China, do business with China, and make friends in China, it will be so easy to do so without language barrier. We will continue to support the teaching of the Chinese language and the Confucius Institutes here.”

Among the diplomatic and business representatives who accompanied Ambassador Zheng on his visit were those from the London offices of the China National Petroleum Corporation, China Construction Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China. Research agreements were signed between Queen’s University Belfast and various academic institutions in China covering hydrogen energy.

Earlier in March, the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, who is also the leader of Ireland’s Green Party, visited China. Ryan, who previously visited China in 1987 and 2010, told the Irish Times prior to his visit:

“One of the main things I’m looking forward to in the visit is to be able to discuss some key issues around climate change and energy, and that’s part of a wider European-Chinese dialogue that is continuing. So, we have to, to a certain extent, put aside if there are other issues of real concern and make sure we do get cooperation, because the world would not be a safe place for anyone if we don’t make that progress on climate.”

Although the main focus of his trip was climate change, renewable energy and transport policy, with visits including those to a high-speed rail terminal and to solar technology companies, Minister Ryan also attended celebrations for Saint Patrick’s Day in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. In his Irish Times interview, he noted:

“In many ways, they [the Chinese] have a lead now when it comes to the new industrial revolution that’s taking place in clean energy technologies. The Chinese export 85 per cent of the batteries that are going to be used in electric vehicles. They export 80 per cent of the solar panels. So, they have an interest in terms of their own economic development. They have a real opportunity in this clean energy area. So, both for their need to protect their own people, but also to continue to maintain their advantage in clean energy, it makes sense for China to be progressive…

“Historically, China has looked to Ireland with interest in a disproportionate scale to our size for a variety of historical reasons, going right back to their inclusion in the United Nations and so on.”

Embedded below is a short video produced by China Daily on Ambassador Zheng Zeguang’s Northern Ireland visit.

Lukashenko: We do not want war, West blocking peace talks

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko paid a state visit to China from February 28 to March 2. Just prior to the visit, he gave an exclusive interview to Li Tongtong of CGTN in his capital Minsk as part of the Chinese channel’s impressive Leaders Talk series. 

Their extensive discussion began with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and its impact on Belarus. President Lukashenko said that he fully agreed with President Putin that the root cause of the problem is not to be found in Russia. He recalls the 2014-15 diplomatic process in the Belarus capital, which had culminated in the signing of the Minsk Protocol. However, former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President François Hollande had both now admitted that they had engaged in this process in order to give Ukraine more time to prepare for war. It is therefore clear who wanted conflict.

Belarus, Lukashenko insisted, is a peace-loving country. Its people know what war means. Belarus lost one third of its population in World War II. Belarusians do not want war with anyone, but especially not with Ukraine, whose people are their kin. President Lukashenko noted that his own forebears hailed from Ukraine. Despite all this, the western powers are trying to drag Belarus into the conflict. As Belarus has long frontiers with both Poland and Lithuania, this would mean that the country would be directly facing NATO, which would force it to disperse its forces and therefore become more vulnerable to attack. The President insisted that whilst his country did not want war, it was ready to defend its sovereignty and independence. 

In the ongoing conflict, it is the United States and the western powers that are obstructing peace talks. Russia proposed negotiations from the very beginning and they were held in Gomel, the second largest city of Belarus, right back in February 2022.

Lukashenko praised President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative (GSI), noting that only peace can lead to prosperity for humanity whilst war leads to catastrophe. Extolling his personal and political friendship with the Chinese leader, he said that he and his family were very excited by Xi’s re-election at last October’s 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. He praised Xi’s ability to draw on the experience of his predecessors while injecting new meaning into it. 

The program also highlighted the development of the Great Stone Industrial Park, the key focus for Belarus-China cooperation, which President Xi had visited when he travelled to Belarus in 2015. The park has developed rapidly is now one third of the size of Minsk. Lukashenko stressed the importance of synergizing the work of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with that of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), whose full members currently comprise Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. He further stressed that the friendship between Belarus and China would last not just for his tenure in office but for ever. He described this belief as having become deeply ingrained in the hearts of the people of Belarus. Especially during the period of sanctions imposed by the West, the people of Belarus had become very clear as to who were their enemies and who were their friends. 

Towards the end of the interview, he highlighted education, culture and sports as among the areas where he would like to see even more cooperation and exchange with China and noted that his youngest son is currently studying at university in Beijing.

President Lukashenko also touched on a number of other issues, including the US shooting down of an unmanned Chinese airship, its instigation of ‘color revolutions’ not only in Belarus but in the Arab countries, and the relations between the European countries, the United States and China.

The full interview is embedded below.

Alexander Lukashenko’s state visit to China

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko paid a state visit to China from February 28 to March 2 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. The two leaders last met in September at the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperaration Organization (SCO), held in the Uzbek city of Samarkand. At that meeting, they jointly announced the upgrading of their bilateral relationship to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership. 

Meeting again on March 1, Xi Jinping emphasized that the China-Belarus friendship is unbreakable, and the two sides should constantly enhance political mutual trust and remain each other’s true friends and good partners.

Congratulating China once again on the success of the 20th CPC National Congress, Lukashenko expressed great admiration for President Xi, noting that he is a leader much loved by the Chinese people and enjoying high prestige in the world. He said that he firmly believes that under the strong leadership of President Xi, China will continue to make new and glorious achievements, and that the hearts of the Belarusian people are always with the Chinese people, and Belarus will stand firmly with China at all times. He said that China is a mainstay in safeguarding world peace, and that Belarus is ready to strengthen coordination with China on major international and regional issues, and jointly strive for the maintenance of international and regional security and stability. 

The two presidents also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis and other issues. Xi Jinping pointed out that China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear, and China has released a position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. Xi noted that the core of China’s position on this issue is promoting talks for peace. All parties should stay committed to its political settlement, abandon the Cold War mentality, respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries, and work to forge a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security architecture. Relevant countries should stop politicizing and instrumentalizing the world economy and take effective actions to bring about a ceasefire and an end to the conflict and peacefully resolve the crisis. Lukashenko said that Belarus fully agrees with and supports China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, and this is of great significance to its resolution.

Lukashenko’s programme also included meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Li Zhanshu.

The two heads of state signed a detailed joint statement covering a broad range of political, economic and other issues and featuring not least a strong commitment to further develop the China-Belarus Industrial Park, situated outside the Belarussian capital Minsk, which is both a mainstay of bilateral cooperation as well as a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).  According to the statement, China supports Belarus in becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as soon as possible. It presently has observer status. 

The below article on the meeting between the two presidents was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. We also publish the full text of the Joint Statement, which is a machine translation from the Chinese language text carried in People’s Daily, and which has been lightly edited by us.

Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 1 March 2023

On March 1, 2023, at the Great Hall of the People, President Xi Jinping held talks with President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko  who is on a state visit to China.

Xi Jinping pointed out that in Samarkand last September, he and President Lukashenko jointly announced the upgrading of China-Belarus relations to an all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership, thus injecting strong impetus into cooperation between the two countries in various fields. Xi noted that this year is the first year to fully implement the important decisions made at the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and China’s high-quality development and modernization drive will bring new opportunities to Belarus and other countries in the world. Faced with an international situation fraught with instability and uncertainty, China is ready to work with Belarus to promote the sound and steady development of bilateral relations at a high level.

Continue reading Alexander Lukashenko’s state visit to China

CGTN interview with Serbian PM Ana Brnabić

In this episode of the CGTN series Leaders Talk, Zou Yun travels to Belgrade to interview Ana Brnabić, Serbia’s first woman Prime Minister, who has held office since June 2017.

According to Brnabić, the friendship between Serbia and China can be described as steel-like or ironclad in both the political and economic fields. She recalls the 1999 bombing of Serbia – and Montenegro – by US-led NATO, without any United Nations authorisation, which killed and injured thousands and displaced millions, noting that it is therefore very difficult for western countries to accuse anyone else of aggression. Brnabić was living in the UK at the time and found it very difficult not to be in her country but away from family and friends. The bombing of the Chinese Embassy, in which three Chinese journalists were killed, will, she said, never be forgotten by the people of either country and had created a very special emotional bond between them. During his state visit to Serbia in 2016, President Xi Jinping inaugurated an impressive Chinese Cultural Centre on the site of the former embassy.

Explaining Serbia’s attempts to pursue a balanced foreign policy, including with China, Russia and the European Union, Brnabić notes that China has proven to be a true friend, especially in the most difficult moments of crisis. Trade with China has boomed and she is looking forward to the conclusion of a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. Recalling her visit to China’s Shanghai Import Expo in 2019, she strongly refutes the allegations that China practices protectionism. Serbia’s experience proves the opposite.

Congratulating China on the success of the Communist Party’s 20th National Congress, Prime Minister Brnabić describes General Secretary Xi Jinping’s election to a third term of office as good news for the entire world. Serbia, she says, is keen to replicate some of China’s development initiatives.

The full interview is embedded below.

Decoupling from China, Russia suicidal for Europe

This article by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, originally published in Global Times, discusses the record of the Biden administration in ramping up Cold War hostilities against China and Russia, and its attempts to get Europe on board with its strategy for protecting US hegemony. Carlos points out that “Anti-Russia and anti-China positions are harming the people of Europe”: sanctions on China’s semiconductor and solar energy industries are utterly self-defeating, and sanctions on Russian energy are feeding directly into a very serious cost of living crisis. He concludes that “the countries of Europe would be well advised to exercise foreign policy independence and to make decisions based on the needs of their own populations, which are calling out for peace, prosperity and a sustainable future.”

When Joe Biden was elected in November 2020, many around the world were hoping for a change of course in the US’ reckless new Cold War.

US-China relations have always been complex and difficult; yet from the early 1970s onward, the trajectory had been toward deepening economic cooperation and a nuanced handling of the contradictions immanent in the relationship. Even with the Obama-Clinton “Pivot to Asia,” which signaled the US’ shift in geostrategic focus toward China containment, there was still significant and productive cooperation between the two countries – most notably in the drafting of the Paris Agreement.

Donald Trump came to power with a promise to stop China “raping” the US economy. Blaming China soon became the new magic wand for explaining away the problems of US capitalism without having to deal with any of the real underlying causes of American decline. Singaporean academic and former diplomat Kishore Mahbubani noted that, rather than blaming China for everything, living standards in the US might improve if America stopped fighting unnecessary foreign wars and used its resources to improve the well-being of its people.

The Trump team initiated a trade war, imposed a ban on Huawei, and sought to ban TikTok and WeChat. They aimed to generate mass anti-China sentiment by engaging in flagrant racism, most infamously blaming the coronavirus pandemic on China. They introduced sanctions and issued disgraceful slanders. So it was assumed that surely, things would only get better under Biden.

Continue reading Decoupling from China, Russia suicidal for Europe

Britain’s participation in US-led New Cold War is shortsighted

In this article for the Global Times, FoSC co-editor Carlos Martinez discusses the change of occupancy in 10 Downing Street and assesses whether Liz Truss is likely to contribute to an improvement of Britain-China relations. Noting that Truss is widely regarded as a “China hawk”, and that she has promised to classify China as a “threat to British national security” for the first time, Carlos concludes that the British ruling class has (for the foreseeable future) settled on an idiotic and self-defeating anti-China policy. This policy will bring no benefit to the British people, and is being carried out for the purpose of demonstrating loyalty to the US in its pursuit of a New Cold War.

It seems a long time ago now that George Osborne and Boris Johnson – then British chancellor and London mayor respectively – spent a week in China on a “charm offensive” to promote strong economic ties between the two countries. Announcing in October 2013 that a Chinese company would help refurbish the Port of London Authority building and that China would be working on Britain’s nuclear energy programme, Johnson commented: “If that isn’t openness to China, I don’t know what is.”

Two years later, Prime Minister David Cameron and President Xi Jinping were photographed relaxing in a pub in South Buckinghamshire, eating fish and chips, drinking pale ale and talking with locals. The mood music was all very uplifting and optimistic, and the scene was set for the development of an increasingly close, symbiotic relationship.

Of course from the British point of view, the motivation for pursuing good relations with China had very little to do with international solidarity or a hitherto-suppressed fondness for Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; rather, the impetus was naked self-interest and economic common sense. Chinese investment, markets and manufacturing prowess were – and are – tremendously important for the British business, which is why Carolyn Fairbairn, former director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, stated in 2020 that in order to protect “future British jobs and prosperity”, Britain “cannot afford to self-isolate from China.”

Continue reading Britain’s participation in US-led New Cold War is shortsighted