ONE OF THE MOST RECENT AND ORIGINAL VIEWS ON THE RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND ROMANIA – DYNAMIC TOPIC FOR THE PUBLIC OPINION AND NOT ONLY.
By Ambassador(p) Gheorghe SAVUICA*
In his speech at the Reception celebrating the 74th Anniversary of Founding of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Han Chunlin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Romania, after presenting the significant results of the national economy of his great country, the important foreign affairs initiatives, orientations and principles of the Chinese diplomacy and the position on today global developments and the international order, has, as well, dwelt upon the bilateral relations between China and Romania in an very elevated diplomatic language offering to a large audience of guests the current trend of their development emphasizing in the content some very meaningful points:
- “Good friends feel close to each other even when they are far apart”;
- Traditional friendship serves as the foundation of China-Romania relations;
- Practical cooperation shows the resilience of China-Romania relations;
- People-to-people and cultural exchanges stimulate the vitality of China-Romania relations;
- As an ancient Chinese adage goes, “With one heart and one mind, we can accomplish everything we aspire for;”
- History and practice have proved that the friendship between China and Romania enjoys a solid foundation, and our cooperation has great potential;
- Through the joint efforts of China and Romania, we will make greater contributions to promoting world peace and development;
- Steadily advance the Comprehensive Friendly and Cooperative Partnership between China and Romania, with more practical outcomes that better benefit the two countries and two peoples.
The Romanian Institute for Europe and Asia Studies- IRSEA - has the honor to present, with the consent from H.E. Ambassador Han Chunlin, the full reference in his speech to the relations between China and Romania.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Friends,
“Good friends feel close to each other even when they are far apart.” This year marks the 74th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Romania. Our relations have withstood the test of the evolving international landscape, and maintained steady development. We applaud our brilliant achievements, and have helped each other weather the storm. This friendship is worth remembering and gives us inspiration to continue to write the future chapter on China-Romania relations.
Traditional friendship serves as the foundation of China-Romania relations. Romania was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with China, and played an important role in restoring People’s Republic of China’s lawful rights in the United Nations. China also supported Romania in safeguarding national sovereignty and independence. In recent years, we have maintained high-level exchanges, building consensus and guiding the direction for the steady development of bilateral relations. At the difficult time of fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Romanian Allegretto National Children’s Choir cheered for China with sincere singing. China provided important assistance to Romania in purchasing and transporting epidemic prevention supplies from China, and shared treatment experience. Chinese local governments, companies and expatriates in Romania also donated a large amount of supplies to Romania. After the Ukraine crisis broke out, the Romanian government provided all-round support and facilitation for China to take our citizens home from Ukraine. These are the true portrayals of “A friend in need is a friend indeed” between our two countries.
Practical cooperation shows the resilience of China-Romania relations. At present, the scale of bilateral trade has reached the highest level in history and has exceeded the 10 billion US dollars mark for two consecutive years. China remains Romania’s largest trading partner outside of Europe. From January to July this year, the total trade volume between the two countries reached 43.26 billion Chinese yuan, a year-on-year increase of 11.1%. More Romanian high-quality products such as honey, lucerne, wine, and mineral water entered the Chinese market, promoting a more balanced development of bilateral trade. China’s investment in Romania has grown steadily. There are more than 13,000 registered companies in Romania with a total registered capital of 410 million US dollars. Chinese companies have actively participated in projects of infrastructure, manufacturing, business services and other fields. Huawei, China Tobacco International, DHS, and Haier have created a large number of jobs and made contributions to Romania’s economic and social development and the improvement of people’s livelihood. Since the beginning of this year, Chinese enterprises have maintained an interest in the Romanian market, and many companies have visited Romania to seek new investment and cooperation opportunities.
People-to-people and cultural exchanges stimulate the vitality of China-Romania relations. Thousands of years ago, China’s Yangshao culture, represented by painted pottery, echoed the Cucuteni culture on the Black Sea coast. More than 400 years ago, the Romanian scholar Nicolae Milescu traveled to China and wrote the book, Description of China, based on his personal experience, introducing ancient Chinese civilization to the Romanian people. Over the past 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between us, people-to-people and cultural exchanges have continued to strengthen. Movies such as Stephen the Great (罗：Ştefan cel Mare), Michael the Brave (罗：Mihai Viteazul) deeply impressed different generations of Chinese, including mine. The Chinese Film Festival and the China Exhibition in the Festival of Asian Cultures (ASIA FEST) have been widely acclaimed by the Romanian people. The influence of “Chinese Season” of Sibiu International Theater Festival continues to expand. In this year, we felt the passion of the Dragon Boat race, enjoyed the charm of oriental culture in the Classical Chinese Dance, exchanged ideas and renewed friendships through Kung Fu and tea art at the “Seeing China” Cultural Reception. With the resumption of offline people-to-people exchanges, the unique charm of Chinese culture can be experienced more directly in Romania.
As an ancient Chinese adage goes, “With one heart and one mind, we can accomplish everything we aspire for.” History and practice have proved that the friendship between China and Romania enjoys a solid foundation, and our cooperation has great potential. Through the joint efforts of China and Romania, we will make greater contributions to promoting world peace and development. The Chinese Embassy in Romania and I myself will continue to work together with our Romanian friends, make full use of platforms and mechanisms such as the BRI and China-CEEC Cooperation, to promote exchanges and cooperation between China and Romania in various fields and at all levels and to steadily advance the Comprehensive Friendly and Cooperative Partnership between China and Romania, with more practical outcomes that better benefit the two countries and two peoples.
Thank you all！”
IRSEA is a think-tank having the target to contribute to the consolidation the vivid tendency of approaching between Europe and Asia and Asia and Europe, to assist Romania’s role in this significant equation as well as to bring its contribution to the development of Romania’s relations with states from Asia-Pacific, focussing, in particular, on South and Southeast Asia and ASEAN. Certainly, IRSEA is also following the geopolitical and strategic dynamics in the above mentioned tumultuous region.
IRSEA is in favour and encourage the strengthening of the political dimension of the bilateral relations between the countries from Europe and Asia-Pacific. This is the vertebral column of facilitating the peaceful future of the entire world. Certainly, it is necessary to develop all dimensions- economic, cultural, social, human contacts and at least not the last the defence cooperation. The key is the mutual understanding, common desire and respect of each other, as it is very well presented in the content of China-Romania bilateral relations so well elaborated in his speech by H.E. Ambassador Han Chunlin.
* The author is the Founder and President of IRSEA and Founder and Honorary President of Romania-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is a graduate of Moscow State Institute of International Relations. As a career diplomat with over four decades of diplomatic service, an University recognized specialist on Southeast Asia and ASEAN, speaker of Bahasa Indonesia, Russian and English, he represented Romania as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Pakistan and Indonesia and Chief of Mission, with Cabinet Letter, to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cyprus, Finland and Estonia.
He published multiple articles, thought-pieces and commentaries reflecting his views on current dynamics in International Affairs and the ongoing developments related to the greater scope of Europe Asia relations. He authored several major chapters in edited volumes on Romania’s Foreign Policy, published by the Romanian Academy.
Ambassador (p) Savuica is a former Director of the Republic of Moldova Division, former Director of the Asia Pacific Division and former Director General of the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of ROMANIA.
He is married and has two daughters, a granddaughter and a grandson.