Speech by ZHAI Jun, Chinese Ambassador to France at the Welcome Dinner of the BFA Paris Meeting
Origin:Boao Forum for Asia      Time:2017-09-17 03:25:04     Views:369691

Speech by ZHAI Jun, Chinese Ambassador to  France at the Welcome Dinner of the BFA Paris Meeting

(Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs France, Sep 14th, 2017)


Esteemed ZENG Peiyan, Vice-Chairman of Boao Forum for Asia,

Esteemed Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN, former Prime Minister of France,

Esteemed Jean-BAPTISTE LEMOYNE, French Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs,

Esteemed ZHOU Wenzhong, Secretary-General of Boao Forum for Asia,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to attend this welcome dinner of Boao Forum for Asia Paris Meeting. The meeting brings together government officials, business representatives and academic elites from Asia and Europe to present suggestions and recommendations for deepening Asia-Europe cooperation and Sino-French cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. On behalf of Embassy of the People Republic of China in the Republic of France, I would like to warmly welcome BFA Vice-Chairman ZENG Peiyan and all the distinguished guests. I would also like to pay the highest regard to former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN for his long-term care and support for the development of Sino-French relations and China-EU relations. I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs for its vigorous support for this Meeting.

Mr. DENG Xiaoping used to remark and I quote, "Europe and Asia are in fact one continent. You are in the west, and we are in the east. There are far more things that connect us than we could ever imagine". Over the past thousands of years, we have created prosperity and splendid culture on this continent through friendly exchanges amongst the various nations, and the ancient Silk Road made significant contribution to the process. Today, the Asia-Europe continent abound in natural resources, capital, personnel and market, though with uneven distributions. There are huge potentials for development, and they are far from being fully tapped. In this context, it is important for Asian and European countries to strengthen strategic coordination, bring into play their respective comparative advantages and strengthen cooperation in infrastructure, trade and investment, financial services. These strategies and moves will not only create new development space for enterprises from both sides, but also make them benefit from the overall development of the Eurasian Continent.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by Chinese President XI Jinping in 2013, at exactly the right time, provides a new platform for promoting Asia-Europe cooperation in the new era. Over the past four years, with its progressive implementation, the initiative's attraction and its contribution to Asia-Europe cooperation is becoming increasingly prominent. European countries take an active part in the construction of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; the China-Europe freight trains have reached 31 cities in 12 European countries. In February this year, I went back to China to receive Premier Cazeneuve and accompanied him to see a China-Europe train in Wuhan which just returned from Europe. He tasted French wine on the spot and was highly impressed by the potentials and prospect of Belt and Road cooperation.

Since ancient times, France has been one of the Silk Road's western destinations. Today, as a core country of EU and China's comprehensive strategic partner, France should play an important role in the Belt and Road Initiative. Since the new administration took office in France, the Sino-French relationship has maintained a good momentum.

President XI Jinping held the first meeting and spoke twice over the phone with President Macron. They exchanged views on bilateral cooperation in various fields, reiterating the intentions of both sides to explore cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. Before the end of the year, the Sino-French Strategic Dialogue, High-level Economic and Financial Dialogue, and High-level People-to-People Exchange Mechanism will be held in Beijing respectively to draw up overall plans for Sino-French pragmatic cooperation in the next phase. China is ready to strengthen political mutual trust, enhance the strategic cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, and constantly push forward the China-Europe and Asia-Europe economic and trade cooperation with France.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just as President XI Jinping pointed out at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May, the Belt and Road is a road for peace and a road of prosperity. Open to all parties, it will be jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all. I hope that the BFA Paris Meeting will be an important step for China to join hands with France and Europe at large to achieve this goal.

I wish this Meeting a complete success.

Thank you.

(Go to Chinese)


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