…As Blinken hold talks with Qin Gang, Wang Yi
On June 19, 2023, Chinese President Xi Jinping, met with the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in Beijing. In attendance were the State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the Peoples Republic of China, Qin Gang and Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi.
During the meeting which took place in the afternoon, Xi pointed out that the world is developing and the times are changing. Xi told Blinken that the world needs a generally stable China-US relationship. Xi stressed that major-country competition does not represent the trend of the times, still less can it solve America’s own problems or the challenges facing the world.
According to Xi, “China respects US’ interests and does not seek to challenge or displace the United States. In the same vein, the United States needs to respect China and must not hurt China’s legitimate rights and interests. Neither side should try to shape the other side by its own will, still less deprive the other side of its legitimate right to development.”
Xi further said China always hopes to see a sound and steady China-US relationship and believes that the two major countries can overcome various difficulties and find the right way to get along based on mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.
Xi called on the United States side to adopt a rational and pragmatic attitude, and work with China in the same direction, pointing out that the two sides need to remain committed to the common understandings he and President Biden had reached in Bali, and translate the positive statements into actions so as to stabilise and improve China-US relations. Xi also asked Secretary Blinken to convey his regards to President Biden.
On his part, Blinken conveyed President Biden’s greetings to President Xi. He said President Biden believes that the United States and China have an obligation to responsibly manage their relations.
Blinken said: “This is in the interest of the United States, China and the world. The United States is committed to returning to the agenda set by the two presidents in Bali. The United States stands by the commitments made by President Biden, namely the United States does not seek a new Cold War, it does not seek to change China’s system, its alliances are not directed at China, it does not support “Taiwan’s independence and it does not seek conflict with China. The United States side looks forward to having high-level engagement with the Chinese side, keeping open lines of communication, responsibly managing differences, and pursuing dialogue, exchanges and cooperation.”
In like manner, on June 19, Wang met with Blinken in Beijing. Wang noted that the Secretary of State’s visit to Beijing comes at a critical juncture in China-U.S. relations, and a choice needs to be made between dialogue and confrontation, and cooperation and conflict.
While further saying that relations between China and the United States are at a low point, Wang underscored that the root cause is the United States’ misperceptions toward China, which has led to misguided China policies.
On June 18, Qin held talks with Blinken in Beijing. Qin pointed out that the China-US relationship is at the lowest point since its establishment.
At the end of the meetings, both sides agreed to jointly implement the important common understandings reached by the two presidents in Bali, effectively manage differences, and advance dialogue, exchanges and cooperation.
Both sides also agreed to maintain high-level interactions. Secretary Blinken invited State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin to visit the US, and Qin expressed his readiness to make the visit at a mutually convenient time.
Qin Gang Attends Africa Day Reception
On May 25, 2023, State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, attended and addressed the Africa Day reception in Beijing. Also in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Christophe Lutundula, and diplomatic envoys from various African countries to China.
On behalf of the Chinese Government, Qin extended congratulations on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) now known as African Union (AU). Qin said that the founding of the OAU is an epoch-making event in the history of Africa, and the start of a new chapter of African countries seeking strength and development through unity.
Qin also said at the turn of the century, the AU took over the baton and led African countries forward with bigger strides toward development and revitalization, saying with continued rise in its international status, Africa has become an important force with global influence.
“Decoupling” or“De-risk?” They all said “No”
Recently, many executives of foreign companies have visited China, hoping to “overweight” the Chinese market and prove with practical actions that the Chinese market is irreplaceable, and “decoupling” from China is tantamount to “decoupling” from opportunities and “decoupling” from the future.
How much harm will “decoupling” from China bring to itself? “Decoupling” from China will not only face direct economic losses from trade with China, but also pay a price for artificially cutting off links with China’s industrial and supply chains. An Austrian think-tank research report estimates that if Germany “decouples” from China, Germany’s annual GDP will drop by two percent, equivalent to a loss of 60 billion euros. Multinational companies have a clear understanding of the cost of “decoupling” from China.
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Kang Linsong, said it is unrealistic to cut off economic relations with China, and “decoupling” from China, the world’s second largest economy, is unthinkable for almost all industries in Germany. The Chief Executive Officer of Nike, John Donahoe, said bluntly that “decoupling” from China is disastrous for global trade.
The strength and resilience of the Chinese economy mean huge opportunities and broad prospects. The latest report released by the United Nations has raised the forecast for China’s economic growth this year from 4.8 percent to 5.3 percent. The International Monetary Fund predicts that China’s contribution to global economic growth this year will reach 34.9 percent. China has a super-large-scale market with a population of more than 1.4 billion and more than 400 million middle-income groups. It is an important participant and defender of the global industrial chain supply chain; and major trading partners in the region. China, which insists on opening up to the outside world, provides global investors and multinational companies with opportunities to invest and start businesses, and what they bring are real dividends. In addition, in emerging industries such as new energy, artificial intelligence, digital economy, and green economy, China has developed rapidly, and has gained technological leadership in some subdivisions. According to the Global Innovation Index 2022 released by the World Intellectual Property Organization, China’s ranking rose to 11th, a steady improvement for ten consecutive years. Cooperation with China is a bright road.
The Nigeria Division Final of the 22nd “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students Held Successfully
On June 17, the finals of the 22nd “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students in Nigeria, sponsored by the China-Foreign Language Exchange and Cooperation Center and the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, were successfully held online and offline.
The theme of this year’s Chinese Bridge Competition for College Students is “One World, One Family.”
After preliminary competitions by various Confucius Institutes and Chinese teaching sites, 11 contestants finally stood out and entered the finals. The finals are divided into four parts: knowledge quiz, impromptu quiz, Chinese speech contest, and Chinese talent show. The knowledge quiz and impromptu quiz are conducted in the form of online real-time communication, and speeches and talents are recorded in pre-competition video. After fierce competition, Su Jinyue from the Confucius Institute won the final championship in Nigeria, and Hao Xuanyi and Luo Yuwei won the runner-up. Ruoshi and Ni Siwei won the “Best Eloquence Award” and “Best Talent Award” respectively.
China-Africa Cooperation Eyes Further Progress in Upcoming Expo
The third China-Africa Economic and Trade Expo scheduled from June 29 to July 2, 2023, in the Central Chinese City of Changsha, will help advance high-quality economic and trade cooperation between the two sides, building on current achievements, officials have said.
The expo, held every other year in Hunan Province, is a significant economic and trade platform under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation framework. So far, 53 African countries, eight international organizations, and over 1,500 centrally-administered state-owned enterprises, business associations, and financial institutions have applied to attend the event.
This year’s event is expected to be more influential than previous ones as it will cover more topics, the Head of the Hunan Provincial Department of Commerce, Shen Yumou said.
Speaking at a press conference, Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, Li Fei, said China is Africa’s largest trading partner and its fourth-biggest source of investment. Li also said that over the years, cooperation between the two sides has extended from trade and construction to emerging areas like digital infrastructure, green development, aviation, and space exploration.
Fusing Tradition and Innovation in Dragon Boat Festival
Amidst the resounding beats of drums and shimmering azure waves, the exhilarating dragon boat races in the City of Miluo in Central China’s Hunan Province present a captivating spectacle, stirring up cascades of spray and creating an electrifying atmosphere.
As the Dragon Boat Festival holiday is now celebrated throughout China, Miluo, often referred to as the “hometown of dragon boat races,” has been enveloped in a lively and spirited festive aura.
The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as Duanwu Festival, traditionally falls on the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar and it was celebrated on Thursday this year.
Mawuna Ayefounin, a Togolese student who has actively taken part in many dragon boat races in China, said that dragon boat sports encapsulate the essence of unity, cooperation and mutual support deeply rooted in Chinese traditional culture.
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