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Opinions & Interviews

16 Oct 2015

Guo Yezhou: Chinese-Belarusian relationship now 'best ever'

BEIJING, 16 October (BelTA) – Relations between Belarus and China are at their best ever, Guo Yezhou, Vice Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, told a press conference in Beijing dedicated to the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).

He noted with satisfaction that the Belarusian-Chinese cooperation has been developing actively, including at the legislative level. "It really shows that under the leadership of the two heads of state, our cooperation is now experiencing the best time in the history of bilateral relations. We are particularly happy to see that Belarus has embraced the initiative "One Belt, One Road" (provides for the establishment of the Silk Road economic zone, including its marine component – note by BelTA). Now our countries jointly implement a number of important projects, one of which is the Chinese-Belarusian industrial park,” Guo Yezhou said.

Speaking about the participation in the initiative, he stressed that China does not divide the countries into those who take part in the initiative, and those who do not. If a country shares and supports the "One Belt, One Road” initiative, it is considered its participant regardless of the geographic location. It is a kind of invitation,” Guo Yezhou said.

This is not only about the more active cooperation with China in various areas on a bilateral basis, but also about the cooperation between all countries participating in the initiative. In this regard, Guo Yezhou praised Belarus’ efforts to develop relations with the countries of the region. Among them are Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Laos and many others.

Given the great response and active discussion of the Great Silk Road initiative, Guo Yezhou was asked about the possibility of holding a major international summit where Presidents and heads of government of the countries concerned could discuss all the issues and formalize the development of further cooperation. “I find this proposal an interesting and important one,” said Guo Yezhou. He did not rule out that such a forum may take part as a result of the joint efforts in advancing the initiative.

In turn, Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Special Rapporteur at the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), stressed that previously the western countries were moving to Asia. Today with the rapid economic development of the Asian countries the movement of economic resources is gradually reversing. At the same time the main goal is to enhance the wellbeing of nations without setting forth any preconditions.

The international conference in Beijing, attended by over 60 political parties and organizations from more than 30 countries, adopted the Beijing Initiative. The document calls for reviving the spirit of the Great Silk Road that promoted peace, harmony, cooperation and mutual enrichment of cultures. It will be done exceptionally on the basis of respecting the sovereignty of the states, equal treatment, mutual benefit and trust. The document also notes the need to remove obstacles for free economic cooperation, creation of a free trade zone, development of transport and other infrastructure, improvement of financial support and investment mechanisms.

Among top-ranking guests of the conference was the President of Cyprus, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, the Speakers of the Parliaments of Laos, Georgia, Mongolia, Bangladesh and others. The main theme of the conference was New Vision for the Silk Road. New Action for Common Development.

The conference in Beijing also included a media forum “New History of the Silk Road”. Attending the forum were mass media outlets of Afghanistan, Belarus, Cambodia, Cyprus, Georgia, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Sri-Lanka, Sudan, the Kingdom of Tonga, Vietnam as well as representatives of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the National Development and Reform Commission of China, businessmen and staff of Chinese R&D centers.

Members of the Belarusian delegation, with a BelTA representative among them, briefed the participants of the forum on major achievements of the Belarus-China cooperation.

BelTA reported earlier that the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus ratified the treaty of friendship and cooperation between Belarus and China on 15 October. The heads of state signed the document in Minsk on 10 May 2015. Inter alia, the treaty envisages promotion of the Silk Road Economic Belt project and expansion of bilateral cooperation in trade, economy, finances, investment, science, technology, power engineering, space exploration, transport, agriculture, humanitarian affairs, and other fields on the basis of mutual benefit.

Besides, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has recently signed Directive No.5 “Concerning the development of bilateral relations between the Republic of Belarus and the People's Republic of China”. The document specifies the guidelines for the Belarus-China cooperation, which include deep and mutual integration of industries and enterprises; information and communication technologies; creation of joint research centers and joint development of specific fields of science; direct and systematic interregional cooperation; establishment of a regional center for China studies and interaction with the People’s Republic of China in Belarus.

The cooperative efforts in trade, investment, finance, and innovations, the development and implementation of joint projects, and the establishment of joint enterprises are viewed as the target directions of the cooperation between Belarus and China.

According to the document, it is also necessary to update Belarus’ state programs related to modernization and development of transport, logistics, information and communication, and customs infrastructures and adjust them to the country’s approaches to its participation in the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road projects.

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