Xi Jinping Meets with Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria of Spain

On November 24, 2016 local time, President Xi Jinping met in Gran Canaria of Spain with Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria of Spain.

Xi Jinping asked Soraya Saenz de Santamaria to convey his sincere greetings and best wishes to King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Xi Jinping pointed out that at present, China-Spain relations enjoy sound development. As the two countries are both at an important stage of development and reform, China and Spain enjoy broad prospects for cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, investment and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China attaches great importance to bilateral relations and is willing to work together with Spain to actively push for a sound, steady and sustained development of bilateral relations. China and Spain should keep close high-level exchanges so as to enhance mutual understanding and political mutual trust. Both sides should boost practical cooperation and fully tap the potential for cooperation in such areas as agriculture, science and technology, clean energy and tourism. China welcomes Spain’s active participation in mutually beneficial cooperation within the framework of the “Belt and Road” initiative. The two countries should also beef up people-to-people and cultural exchanges so as to consolidate the public opinion foundation of bilateral friendship.

Xi Jinping stressed that mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the EU accords with the interests of both sides, and China firmly supports the European integration process. China is committed to building the four major partnerships of peace, growth, reform and civilization as well as deepening practical cooperation with the EU, and hopes that Spain will play a greater role in pushing forward China-EU relations in a sustained and steady way.

Soraya Saenz de Santamaria conveyed warm regards from King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Agreeing with Xi Jinping’s comments on bilateral relations, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said that Spain cherishes its traditional friendship with China and stands ready to work with China to maintain close high-level contact, deepen practical cooperation in fields including economy, trade, finance, science and technology, and tourism, intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges and strengthen coordination in international affairs. The country is also ready to continue serving as a bridge for strengthening EU-China relations.

Yang Jiechi and others attended the meeting.

Xi Jinping made a technical stop in Gran Canaria of Spain on his way back to China after concluding his state visit to Chile.

On the morning of November 23 local time, Xi Jinping left Chile. Upon departure, senior officials of the Chilean government saw Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan off at the airport.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Liu Yandong Meets with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany

On November 24, 2016 local time, Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who was attending the 7th Hamburg Summit in Germany, met with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany.

Liu Yandong expressed that at present, China and Germany maintain a sound momentum of development in bilateral relations. The close high-level exchanges between both countries not only enhance political mutual trust, but vigorously push for fruitful outcomes from cooperation in various fields. Both sides share tremendous potential and broad prospects in further deepening mutually beneficial cooperation. The Chinese side is willing to join hands with Germany to, in the spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation, constantly consolidate political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation and properly handle divergence in a bid to push bilateral relations for constant and new progress. The two countries should create a more convenient market environment as well as a more reasonable and friendlier public opinion environment to promote two-way investment and jointly oppose trade and investment protectionism. Activities under the Year of China-Germany Youth Exchange are a highlight in China-Germany relations this year. Both countries should further coordinate and facilitate exchanges and cooperation in such fields as science and technology, education, culture, tourism, youths and football, so as to provide inexhaustible impetus for the ever-lasting and stable development of bilateral relations. China attaches importance to developing its relations with Europe, and hopes that Germany, as a core and major country in the EU, could exert great influence in advancing the EU to fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on the Accession of China to the World Trade Organization as well as other issues and inject more positive energy into the development of China-EU relations.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that Germany and China enjoy sound and close relations. Under the current international political and economic situation, Germany and China should continue to strengthen cooperation, which is of great significance. German enterprises have deep interests in investing in China, and also welcome Chinese enterprises to continue to make investment and launch cooperation in Germany. It is believed that the two countries could resolve disputes through dialogues, so as to ensure the continuous and smooth development of bilateral relations. The German side is in favor of reinforcing bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges and encouraging more youths to become envoys of Germany-China friendship. Germany is willing to play a positive role in advancing EU-China relations.

Both sides agreed to establish China-Germany high-level people-to-people and cultural exchange mechanism as soon as possible.

After the meeting, Liu Yandong and Frank-Walter Steinmeier jointly attended the closing ceremony of Year of China-Germany Youth Exchange.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Liu Yandong Meets with Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz

On November 24, 2016 local time, Vice Premier Liu Yandong met with Mayor of Hamburg Olaf Scholz during her attendance at the 7th Hamburg Summit in Germany.

Liu Yandong said that the Hamburg Summit has been focusing on China’s development and China-EU cooperation since its establishment in 2004, thus becoming an important platform for the political and business circles of both sides to increase mutual understanding and discuss cooperation plans. China appreciates the positive efforts made by Hamburg in well giving play to the role of this platform, and hopes that the Hamburg Summit will be more and more successful. China successfully hosted the G20 Hangzhou Summit in 2016, and Hamburg will host the G20 Summit next year. China is willing to closely work with Germany to extend the effects of the G20 Hangzhou Summit. It is believed that the G20 Hamburg Summit will be a success.

Liu Yandong noted that China-Germany relations have maintained a momentum of high-level development, and high-level exchanges between both countries are frequent, which has effectively pushed forward the further and in-depth development of China-Germany relations. Hamburg, which is one of the European cities with most Chinese enterprises, enjoys time-honored relationship with China and pioneers in local cooperation with China. Hamburg is also an active participant of the construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative and the Asia-Europe connectivity, and is gradually becoming an important hub of China-Europe land and marine trade. It is hoped that Hamburg will continue to serve as an important bridge in the future friendly exchanges and cooperation between both countries.

Olaf Scholz expressed that Hamburg is very glad to play a positive and important role in promoting bilateral cooperation. Hamburg and China have maintained sound exchanges and cooperation in many fields, and achieved positive and fruitful results. Hamburg welcomes Chinese enterprises to conduct investment and cooperation there, and will continue to provide convenience and an open environment for bilateral cooperation.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Liu Yandong Attends and Delivers Keynote Speech at the Closing Ceremony of the 7th Hamburg Summit

On November 24, 2016 local time, Vice Premier Liu Yandong attended the closing event of the 7th Hamburg Summit in Hamburg of Germany and delivered a keynote speech.

Liu Yandong expressed that through adjusting structure, transforming patterns, promoting reform and benefiting people’s livelihood, the Chinese government has sent the Chinese economy into the new normal of mid-to-high speed growth. China’s development is also an opportunity for the world. The “Belt and Road” initiative proposed by China is to translate China’s opportunities into opportunities for the world and realize common development through win-win cooperation.

Liu Yandong noted that China firmly supports the European integration process. At present, both China and Europe are at important stage of deepening reform and China-Europe cooperation is also at the crucial period of speeding up and upgrading. Both sides should enhance mutual trust, connectivity, complementarity and mutual benefit, deeply advance the docking of development strategies of China and Europe, join efforts in innovation with a more open attitude, properly handle disputes in economic and trade cooperation and build a closer network of people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China looks forward to, together with Germany and the EU, keeping intensifying cooperation, actively implementing outcomes of the G20 Hangzhou Summit and jointly offering new ideas to resolve current predicament of world economic growth and reboot the confidence in world economic growth so as to create new opportunities for the respective development of China and Europe.

Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen expressed that Europe-China relations are firm and strong. Regarding China as an important partner at bilateral and global levels, the EU hopes to establish deeper and stronger economic and trade relations with China on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The EU supports and will actively participate in the “Belt and Road” initiative proposed by China, and is willing to make concerted efforts with China to reinforce Europe-Asia connectivity and benefit the people of Europe, China and the world at large.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany said that the German side stands ready to uphold the spirit of openness and honesty, welcome more investment from Chinese companies and beef up dialogue and cooperation in more extensive areas with China.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Liu Yandong Meets with Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen

On November 24, 2016 local time, Vice Premier Liu Yandong, who was attending the 7th Hamburg Summit in Germany, met with Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen.

Liu Yandong expressed that China attaches high importance to developing relations with the EU, supports the European integration construction and commits to jointly forging the four major partnerships featuring peace, growth, reform and civilization with the EU side, so as to continuously enrich the connotation of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Under the current complicated international political, economic and security situation, China and the EU, as two major powers in the world, should actively cooperate in improving global governance and dealing with global challenges, which is of great significance. Both sides should jointly promote the docking between the “Belt and Road” initiative and the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas including economy, trade, investment and connectivity, and further enhance communication and cooperation in people-to-people and cultural fields such as education, culture, science, technology, media, youth and women. Both sides should jointly oppose trade protectionism, and safeguard a fair and just international trade system. It is hoped that the EU can fulfill its relevant international obligations in the Protocol on the Accession of China to the World Trade Organization as scheduled, and create a better environment for both sides to deepen investment cooperation.

Jyrki Katainen expressed that the EU is delighted to see that EU-China relations have maintained a sound and close development momentum. At present, the world faces increasing uncertain factors. Both sides need to strengthen confidence and maintain cooperation, which not only is conducive to respective development, but will stabilize the world economy. The EU supports to further enhance bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and will vigorously oppose trade protectionism, so as to boost trade liberalization and facilitation.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Deputy Director-General of the Protocol Department of the Foreign Ministry Zhang Yiming Accepts Copy of Credentials from Newly-appointed Cuban Ambassador to China

On November 25, 2016, Deputy Director-General of the Protocol Department of the Foreign Ministry Zhang Yiming accepted the copy of credentials presented by newly-appointed Cuban Ambassador to China Miguel Angel Ramirez Ramos.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Lin Songtian Holds Discussions with African Journalists from the Third Phase of China-Africa Press Exchange Centre Programme

On November 24, 2016, Secretary-General of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and Director-General of the Department of African Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Lin Songtian held discussions with African journalists from the third phase of the China-Africa Press Exchange Centre programme, who will graduate and return to their countries soon.

Lin Songtian carefully listened to the journalists’ experience of work and study in China for 10 months as well as suggestions on improving media exchanges and cooperation between China and Africa. He hoped that the journalists could continue to focus on China and China-Africa relations when they go back to their countries, actively tell real stories of China to the African people and become advocators, promoters and defenders of China-Africa friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation.

The journalists thanked the Chinese side for its meticulous organization and considerate arrangements, and praised China for its positive measures in expanding exchanges and mutual visits between African and Chinese think tanks and media. They expressed that working and studying in China enable them to deeply understand a real, open, harmonious, stable and prosperous China. China’s successful experience in development offers strong reference and guidance to Africa in realizing independent and sustainable development. They will continuously give play to what they have learnt in China when return to their countries, and make positive contributions to promoting mutual understanding and bilateral cooperation between Africa and China.

The China-Africa Press Exchange Centre programme is a practical cooperation measure announced at the 5th FOCAC Ministerial Conference in 2012. The third phase of the programme was initiated this February and will conclude in the middle of this December. There are altogether 28 African journalists who are visiting and making interviews in China. The project is hosted by the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Ambassador for China-Arab States Cooperation Forum Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Li Chengwen Visits Jordan

(From Chinese Embassy in Jordan)

From November 22 to 24, 2016, Ambassador for China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Li Chengwen visited Jordan, during which he met with Acting Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Naif Az-Zidan of Jordan. Both sides exchanged views on implementing outcomes from President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Middle East and the 7th CASCF ministerial meeting, the joint construction of the “Belt and Road” initiative between China and Arab states, bilateral relations, the construction of the CASCF and other topics. During his visit, Li Chengwen also met with Senator Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, who is the recipient of China-Arab Friendship Outstanding Contribution Award, and Samer Khair Ahmad, Director of Culture Affairs of Amman Municipality and the author of Pursuit of Civilization: China’s Rise and the Future of the Arab People. H.E. Pan Weifang, Chinese Ambassador to Jordan was present.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Avalanches in Tibet trigger worries about climate change

Another large-scale glacier avalanche occurred in Ngari Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region in September, two months after the last big one. In a research paper published by the Journal of Glaciology, which is jointly run by the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center at Ohio State University, scientists argue that the increasing frequency of avalanches may be caused by rising temperatures brought about by climate change. If this is true, the two big avalanches may be just the beginning.

On July 17, a major glacier avalanche occurred in Ngari Prefecture, Tibet. Though over 100 rescuers rushed to the disaster-stricken area, the death toll was still nine, with more than 100 yaks gone.

There are 5,862 glaciers in the region, covering 4,900 square kilometers. These glaciers provide stable water resources, but also pose great risks. Previous monitoring showed that the glaciers in the region are stable, meaning that the two disasters triggered extra concern, with data showing that temperatures have risen.

Satellite images show that the glacier in question first began to form from a snowmelt in September 2015. The surface of the collapse resulting from the glacier avalanche was over 10 square kilometers, equal in size to 1,400 football fields. Some experts believe this disaster is the result of local temperature increases and heightened precipitation, in turn caused by climate change. If this is the case, then still-higher temperatures may lead to a series of glacier avalanches in the future. Others think the disaster was caused by the normal cyclical movement of glaciers.

It is neither easy nor cost-efficient to conduct continuous monitoring over such a vast region. What’s more, certain meteorological phenomena restrict the emergency alert system.

This disaster underscores the insufficient progress human beings have made to stop climate change. However, it could serve to urge scientists and local government that now is the time for new solutions, suggested Tian Lide, a glacier expert with the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)

Commentary: 21st century belongs to strivers

“The 21st century is the time for the Chinese,” said the CEO of a Chinese mobile phone company at the recent launch of a new product. The CEO remarked that Western bigwigs will finally be surpassed by Chinese strivers who are determined to change their lives through hard work.

He further explained that, although some companies in developed countries are leading the world in many aspects, their bureaucracy, laziness, arrogance and ego will hinder their development.

To some extent, all Chinese people in the past 100 years are strivers who have managed to change their own fates and the fate of their country through sheer diligence; this trend is vividly illustrated by the process of reform and opening-up. After keeping their noses to the grindstone despite hardships and difficulties, Chinese people have finally succeeded in ushering in a new era.

Those who have doubted China over the years were not aware of the strivers’ true personalities. The strivers desperately thirst for better lives. They are able to bear unbearable hardships and endure unendurable suffering. Such morale and pluck can never be defeated.

The struggle of a software company in Guangdong, which has grown from a small enterprise into an industry titan, offers an inspiring story. During a trip to Germany for an exhibition shortly after the company’s founding, both boss and employees slept on park benches in order to save money. More importantly, none of them complained about having to do so.

In 2009, China needed to build a large exhibition area, as the guest of honor of that year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. However, shortly before the opening of the event, construction was not yet complete because of German workers’ fixed schedule. Therefore, the Chinese exhibitor invited workers from China to complete the work, and that team was able to finish before the opening ceremony.

It is the effort, hard work and sweat of these strivers that have contributed to China’s current development. Their willingness to struggle came from a thirst to change their fate.

In recent years, many Chinese enterprises are expanding their business in Africa. Instead of spending money on entertainment, Chinese employees there save money to make phone calls to their families back home. This priority was not received well by some locals, who believe that one should enjoy life with one’s money. As a result, people cooked up stories that Chinese employees in Africa were prisoners sent by the Chinese government. Believing these rumors, some Western media outlets even slammed China for human rights violations. Finally, a media outlet from the U.K. discovered the truth. These Chinese workers are just the same as their Western counterparts: they love their families and hope to change their lives through hard work. They consider it their life purpose to improve the quality of life of their families, especially their children. The U.K. outlet ultimately concluded that the unyielding spirit of Chinese people is unrivalled, and they will certainly change the world.

Hard work pays. This is the basis for social function. Any society will collapse without such faith.

China is no longer the impoverished country it was 30 years ago. Even so, the enterprising spirit of its citizens has endured. The country needs to stay confident, especially during the “new normal” of slower economic growth. As long as its people have the faith to change fate through hard work, they should fear no difficulty.

One dare not say that the 21st century is destined to be the era of China, but it certainly belongs to the strivers who are determined to change their lives through work.

(This article is published on People’s Daily Online)