CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE AND CYPRUS

 

CHINA’S BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE AND CYPRUS

 

By H.E. Ambassador Huang Xingyuan

Five years ago, in the concept that “China will do well only when the world does well, and vice versa”, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in the hope that China’s economic growth will become sustainable by forging synergies and interacting virtuously with other countries’ development strategies.

Five years later, the Initiative has seen tangible results with a host of ongoing flagship projects and the signing of cooperative agreements under the BRI framework between China and over 150 countries around the world.

Cyprus is of utmost importance because of its pivotal location that connects Asia, Europe and Africa. The ancient silk road that started in China spanned across central and western Asia all the way to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. And the 21st century maritime silk road, similarly, begins in costal China and extends to Europe across the South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

Both Cyprus and countries in the Middle East have been actively involved in the building of BRI. President Anastasiades expressed Cyprus’ willingness to participate in the BRI on various occasions. President Syllouris also supports Cyprus in playing an active role within the EU to create connectivity between the maritime corridor and the Mediterranean Sea by facilitating the signing of a cooperation MOU between the legislatures of China and Cyprus. As we speak, China and Cyprus are discussing the signing of an intergovernmental MOU on BRI.

As we enter 2019, the world political landscape and relations between major powers remain complex. The world economy ahead amidst of unilateralism and trade protectionism. Global issues, of intertwining of in the Middle East and ongoing conflicts brings risks to the building BRI. We are aware that some people in Europe have doubts about BRI while some Chinese companies have encountered difficulties doing business in Europe.

I wish to stress that President Xi proposed the BRI five years ago as a Chinese plan in response to the latest developments in world peace and development. The Initiative comes from China and goes on to bring opportunities and benefits to the world. By taking a real part in the BRI will not only help to stimulate economic growth of countries along the belt and road, but also contribute to the eradication and poverty, war and terrorism. 

Real connectivity between Europe, Asia and Africa calls for peace and stability in the Middle East. The Chinese government will remain committed to the building of a community of shared destiny and safeguarding existing international order and contribute Chinese wisdom and efforts in the resolution of regional hot issues, including the Cyprus Problem.

I wish to reiterate that the BRI is a sunshine initiative that upholds the principles of extensive consultation, joint efforts and shared benefits and the spirit of openness, transparency and inclusiveness. It pursues high quality and standards and abides by international rules and market principles. It features mutual respect, accommodation of each other’s interests and fair distribution of benefits among participating states and parties in the process of planning and execution of projects.

Cyprus may be small in terms of size and population, but it is a crucial dot that links the three continents, an anchor for the BRI and a stabilizing force in facilitating peace and stability in the region.

We need to develop synergies between BRI and respective development strategies between China and Cyprus, develop synergies between BRI and bilateral economic and trade co-operations, develop synergies between BRI and the people-to-people ties between our two countries, forge synergies between BRI and European initiatives, forge synergies between BRI and regional cooperation in Eastern Mediterranean.

 

(Outlined at the Symposium organised by the CCEIR and the School of Law of UNIC, 17/01/2017)

 

Posted on 20/01/2019

 

(Picture: drawn from: http://bit.ly/2po7Esw)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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