Xi & Women - China 'Deeply Worried' about 'Sharp Escalation' in Palestine-Israel Conflict - China-Philippines Tensions in SCS - BRI Forum Diplomacy Wrap
Here are the key reports and articles that I found noteworthy from the People's Daily’s edition on Monday, October 23, 2023.
Page 1: With all the BRI excitement behind us, today’s front page is rather dull. I didn’t cover the newsletter on Thursday and Friday. The big stories in the paper on those days were about Xi Jinping’s bilateral meetings with visiting leaders. At the end of today’s edition, I’ve done a compilation of those meetings, if you are interested. The big messages, of course, are around development/economic diplomacy, reaffirming support for China’s core interests and shaping the future direction of the world order.
Anyway, today, there’s a report on the publication of a new book. This one covers Xi Jinping’s discourses on community-level or grassroots governance. Xinhua informs that the “book combines 216 relevant passages from 130 significant spoken and written works Xi made between November 2012 and September 2023.”
There are two long articles on the page telling us that women do hold up half of the sky. The first one deals with Xi Jinping’s concern with regard to women’s issues; the other one details the Party’s record on women’s issues since the 18th Party Congress.
The first article says:
“Since the 18th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping has delivered important speeches and issued significant directives on multiple occasions, encouraging the safeguarding of women’s legitimate rights and promoting the development of women’s causes in our country: ‘We must incorporate the system of protecting women's rights and interests into laws and regulations, elevate it to the will of the country, and internalize it into social behavioral norms’...‘Increase attention, care and support, severely crack down on illegal and criminal acts that infringe on women's rights and interests, and safeguard women's rights and interests in accordance with the law’...Pay more attention to the most ordinary women, especially women in need, and pay special attention to poor women, disabled women, left-behind women and other disadvantaged women, and do good deeds, address their problems, and do practical things for them’...‘Actively create conditions and build platforms for women to participate in economic and social development, protect the legitimate rights and interests of women and children, and strive to make respect for women and care for children a common practice throughout society’.” 为“她”的高光时刻喝彩，也为“她们”的工作和生活提供更有力支持和保障。党的十八大以来，习近平总书记在多个场合发表重要讲话、作出重要指示，为维护妇女合法权益、推动我国妇女事业发展鼓与呼——“我们要把保障妇女权益系统纳入法律法规，上升为国家意志，内化为社会行为规范。”“加大重视、关心、支持力度，严厉打击侵害妇女权益的违法犯罪行为，依法维护妇女权益。”“把更多注意力放在最普通的妇女特别是困难妇女身上，格外关心贫困妇女、残疾妇女、留守妇女等困难妇女，为她们做好事、解难事、办实事。”“积极为妇女参与经济社会发展创造条件、搭建平台，保障妇女、儿童合法权益，努力让尊重妇女、关爱儿童在全社会蔚然成风.”
Later the article adds that:
“In China today, women not only have a more equal social status, but also have a broader space for development. The cause of women has made historic achievements:
The average life expectancy of women in China has exceeded 80 years, which is 4 years higher than the world average for women
The gender gap has been basically eliminated in the compulsory education stage, and the proportion of female students among in higher education exceeds that of male students
Female employees account for more than 40% of all employees, women account for about 1/3 of new businesses such as e-commerce and live broadcasting, and female technology workers account for 45.8% of all workers
The proportions of female deputies to the 14th NPC and female members of the National Committee of the CPPCC were 26.54% and 22.4%, respectively, both reaching record highs
In the context of corporate boards of directors, workers' supervisors, and workers' congresses, women make up approximately one-third
In the current term of village committee members, women account for 28.1%, marking a 7.1% increase compared to the previous term
44.16 million rural women have been lifted out of absolute poverty
the number of women participating in various social insurances has increased significantly
illegal crimes against women and children have been severely cracked down
The section after this basically has Xi appreciating successful women, from Tu Youyou, meeting with the Chinese women’s volleyball team, a nurse named Liu Jiayi, etc.
The final section of the article says that:
“General Secretary Xi Jinping attaches great importance to family development…has fully affirmed the role of women in the construction of family virtues, and emphasised the need ‘to give full play to the unique role of women and promote the core socialist values to take root in the family’.” 习近平总书记重视家庭建设，注重家庭、注重家教、注重家风，充分肯定妇女在家庭美德建设中的作用，强调“发挥妇女独特作用，推动社会主义核心价值观在家庭落地生根”.
It adds that Xi had said in 2015 that “regardless of the changes in the times or the shifts in our way of life, we must always prioritise family construction, family values, and family traditions. A family is the smallest nation, and a nation is a collection of millions of families. During the revolutionary war years, mothers taught their children to fight in the East, wives sent their husbands to the battlefield; and during the period of socialist construction, we put everyone before the small family and sacrificed the small family for everyone. This exemplified an upward pursuit of family values and a noble sense of patriotism.” Then we get a brief reference to this tale of Xi’s mother telling him the story of Yue Fei, a Chinese general whose mother tattooed four Chinese characters, which literally translate into ‘serve the country with the utmost loyalty,’ on the back of her son. ‘I said it must have been a great pain to have those words tattooed on the back,’ Xi recalled. ‘But my mother said that although it was painful, he remembered it by heart’.” 总书记强调，不论时代发生多大变化，不论生活格局发生多大变化，我们都要重视家庭建设，注重家庭、注重家教、注重家风。家是最小国，国是千万家。革命战争年代母亲教儿打东洋、妻子送郎上战场，社会主义建设时期先大家后小家、为大家舍小家，都体现着向上的家庭追求，体现着高尚的家国情怀。小时候母亲讲精忠报国、岳母刺字的故事，让总书记难以忘怀。“我说，把字刺上去，多疼啊！我母亲说，是疼，但心里铭记住了。‘精忠报国’四个字，我从那个时候一直记到现在，它也是我一生追求的目标。”
The article adds: “Family education involves many aspects, but the most important thing is moral education, which teaches individuals how to conduct themselves.” 家庭教育涉及很多方面，但最重要的是品德教育，是如何做人的教育. It also lists different initiatives taken in this regard, such as the civil code stipulating that “families shall establish good family values, promote family virtues, and enhance family civility; seven departments issued guidelines on further strengthening family education and style/values development,' and the Central Guidance Commission on Building Spiritual Civilization issued guidelines on deepening the construction of family civilization; 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have established a multi-departmental coordination mechanism for family work; and 24 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities have set up special funds for family work…” 民法典确立“家庭应当树立优良家风，弘扬家庭美德，重视家庭文明建设”原则性规定；七部门印发《关于进一步加强家庭家教家风建设的实施意见》，中央文明委印发《关于深化家庭文明建设的意见》；31个省区市建立家庭工作多部门协调工作机制，24个省区市设立了家庭工作专项经费，党政主导的家庭工作机制逐步健全…
The second article, as I mentioned earlier, deals with the Party’s work for women’s causes in the new era. I am not doing a deep dive into this, since this largely highlights successful women as examples/role models. That’s quite nice. But the text of the article mentions Xi Jinping 36 times. So you know what this is really about. It says:
“‘Women can hold up half the sky; how powerful these words are!’ In General Secretary Xi Jinping's heart, women are no less capable than men/women are more than a match for men, and the power of women is limitless. “妇女能顶半边天。这句话说得何等豪迈啊！”在习近平总书记心中，巾帼不让须眉，女性的力量不可限量.
Also on the page is an editorial marking the opening of the 13th National Women's Congress, which is being held from today. The editorial informs that the All-China Women's Federation “serves as a bridge between the Party and women, a powerful assistant for the Party in carrying out women’s work, and a warm home trusted by the women.”
“Since the 12th National Women's Congress, women’s federation organizations at all levels have adhered to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly implemented General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important exposition on the work of women, children and women’s federations, strengthened the guidance, service, and connection, daring to reform and innovate, and united the vast number of women around the Party…” 中国妇女第十二次全国代表大会以来，各级妇联组织坚持以习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想为指导，深入贯彻习近平总书记关于妇女儿童和妇联工作的重要论述，强化引领服务联系，勇于改革创新，把广大妇女紧紧凝聚在党的周围，妇联工作开创了新局面，为推动我国妇女事业发展、夯实党执政的群众基础作出新贡献.
On the new journey, we should firmly grasp the theme of the contemporary women's movement in China, serve as builders of great undertakings, advocates of civilised fashion and strugglers who dare to pursue dreams; we must mobilise women's enthusiasm, initiative and creativity to the maximum extent, pool their strength and wisdom, ensuring that the vast number of women make new and greater contributions to realising the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Doing well in the Party’s women's work is crucial for uniting and consolidating half of our country’s population, and for providing strong support for the development of the Party and the people’s causes. Earnestly assume the political responsibility of leading the majority of women to listen to and obey the Party, firmly grasp the job orientation of being a good bridge and assistant, regard contacting and serving the majority of women as the lifeline of work, ignite the historical sense of responsibility and the spirit of ownership in women, and promote the high-quality development of women's causes…” 新征程上，牢牢把握当代中国妇女运动的时代主题，做伟大事业的建设者、做文明风尚的倡导者、做敢于追梦的奋斗者，最大限度调动妇女积极性、主动性、创造性，凝聚巾帼之力、汇集巾帼之智，广大妇女一定能够为实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦作出新的更大贡献。做好党的妇女工作关系团结凝聚占我国人口半数的妇女，关系为党和人民事业发展提供强大力量。切实承担引领广大妇女听党话、跟党走的政治责任，牢牢把握当好桥梁纽带和得力助手的工作定位，把联系和服务广大妇女作为工作生命线，激发广大妇女的历史责任感和主人翁精神，推动妇女事业高质量发展，各级妇联组织一定能最广泛地为党的事业团结凝聚妇女力量.
Moving on, there’s a report (English report) on the 6th meeting of the 14th NPCSC on Sunday. Reports on law enforcement and judicial work in the field of ecological environment and resource conservation were presented by the State Council, the Supreme People's Court (SPC), and the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP). They all talked about Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilisation and Xi Jinping Thought on Rule of Law.
NPC Vice chairman Li Hongzhong said:
“It is necessary to do a good job in codification and legislative revision in the field of ecological environment, and build a scientific, rigorous, systematic and complete legal system for ecological and environmental protection;
Promote other state organs and local governments to improve supporting laws and standards to ensure the implementation of ecological and environmental protection laws
Strengthen the supervision of the implementation of ecological and environmental protection laws and related work, and promote the government and SPP and SPC to improve the level of law enforcement and judicial work
Let the concept of lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets be deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, and gather powerful forces to jointly build a Beautiful China.”
Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong said that the focus will be on taking strict action according to law, source control and reform, effectively improving the level of combating and preventing environmental resources crimes, and striving to implement high-level protection and support high-quality development with high standards of law enforcement. 王小洪表示，国务院及各有关部门将深入学习贯彻习近平生态文明思想和习近平法治思想，从依法严打、源头治理、改革攻坚三个方面进一步加大力度，切实提高打击防范环境资源犯罪工作水平，努力以高标准执法落实高水平保护、支撑高质量发展.
SPC President Zhang Jun said that people's courts will actively respond to people's ever-growing needs for a better life, and further serve Chinese modernization by modernizing the adjudication of environmental and resource cases to implement the concept of harmony between humanity and nature into specific adjudicative work. SPP Procurator-general Ying Yong said that the country's procuratorial organs will handle every environmental and resource case in a high-quality and efficient manner to contribute to further progress in the development of ecological civilization.
For more on the bills being discussed at this meeting, do check out the NPC Observer website.
“Calling for concrete efforts in the ongoing Party-wide education campaign as it is carried out closer to the people, Cai urged solid and thorough implementation of the policies for public benefit to ensure a sense of fulfillment for the people. He underlined the adherence to the guidance over community-level governance through Party building, and asked for further integration and classified implementation of the major measures in the education campaign. Cai called on the county to carry out designated assistance to consolidate the achievements made in poverty alleviation, and build on its strength in ecological resources to follow a path of high-quality green development. He also urged local Party committees and organizations to intensify their guidance and supervision to guard against pointless formalities, and integrate the education campaign with their current key tasks.”
“In his remarks, Zhai Jun said that China attaches great importance to the evolving situation of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, feels deeply worried about the sharp escalation of the Palestine-Israel conflict causing a great number of civilian casualties and a humanitarian crisis, condemns any moves that harm civilians, opposes any acts that violate international law, and urges to immediately stop military moves that will further escalate the situation and to open up a humanitarian rescue and assistance passage. Zhai Jun emphasized that the international community should uphold objectivity and justice, and take practical measures. The United Nations should promote the convening of a more authoritative and more influential international conference for peace at a larger scale as soon as possible, so as to pool international consensus for peace and work for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question at an early date. Zhai Jun said that the continuous escalation of the Palestine-Israel conflict has proven again that the Palestinian question should not be neglected or forgotten. To end the cycle of the conflict between Palestine and Israel, it is essential to implement the two-state solution, establish an independent State of Palestine, and realize peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel. China will continue to work with all relevant parties of the international community to make unremitting efforts to end the war in Gaza at an early date, support the Palestinian people in restoring their lawful national rights, implement the two-state solution, and realize lasting peace and security in the Middle East.”
Page 17: There’s a report on MoFA’s comments on the tensions between China and the Philippines over collisions in the South China Sea. CNN reports:
“China and the Philippines on Sunday accused each other of causing collisions in a disputed area of the South China Sea, the latest in a string of maritime confrontations between the two countries that have heightened regional tensions. In a statement, Philippine authorities said a Chinese Coast Guard ship carried out “dangerous blocking maneuvers” that caused it to collide with a Philippine vessel carrying supplies to troops stationed in Ayungin Shoal, also known as Second Thomas Shoal, in the Spratly Islands chain. China’s move was “provocative, irresponsible and illegal” and “imperiled the safety of the crew” of the Philippine boats, the National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea said. In a second incident Sunday, the Philippine task force said a Chinese maritime militia vessel collided with a Philippine Coast Guard ship, which was on the same mission to resupply the BRP Sierra Madre. Manila grounded the navy transport ship on Second Thomas Shoal in 1999 and has manned it with Filipino marines to enforce its claims to the area. In a statement Sunday, the Chinese Coast Guard accused the Philippines of violating international marine law and threatening the navigation safety of Chinese ships. It accused the first Philippine ship of trespassing into the waters of what it calls the Nansha islands and Renai Reef, prompting the Chinese Coast Guard ship to intercept “in accordance with the law,” and resulting in a “minor collision.” In the second incident, the Chinese Coast Guard said the Philippine Coast Guard vessel “purposely provoked trouble and reversed course,” causing a collision with a Chinese fishing boat.”
This Reuters report has a video showing the incident.
“On October 22，without China’s permission, two civil vessels and two coast guard vessels of the Philippines intruded the waters of Ren’ai Jiao in China’s Nansha Qundao. In disregard of the warnings of the China Coast Guard (CCG) vessels, they went headlong towards Ren’ai Jiao’s lagoon and bumped dangerously with the CCG ships conducting law enforcement on the scene and the Chinese fishing vessels having normal fishing activities there. The CCG took necessary law enforcement measures to the Philippine vessels in accordance with domestic and international law to uphold China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. The action it took on the scene was professional and restrained.”
“Let me stress that Ren’ai Jiao is part of China’s Nansha Qundao and China’s territory. The Philippines illegally “grounded” its warship at Ren’ai Jiao. This seriously violates China’s territorial sovereignty. The Philippines explicitly promised several times to tow away the military vessel deliberately and illegally “grounded” at Ren’ai Jiao. However, 24 years have passed and instead of towing it away, the Philippines has sought to repair and reinforce it on a large scale in order to permanently occupy Ren’ai Jiao. China has shown extraordinary restraint and patience concerning Ren’ai Jiao. For quite some time, China has had frequent communication with the Philippines at various levels and through various channels, making it clear to the Philippines that it must not send construction materials meant for repairing and reinforcing the “grounded” warship on a large scale. The Philippines, however, chose to ignore China’s goodwill and sincerity and has reneged on its own promise, kept sending vessels into the waters of Ren’ai Jiao, spreading disinformation and playing up the issue. The Philippines’ behavior seriously violated China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, breached international law and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and undermined regional peace and stability. We deplore and firmly oppose that. We once again urge the Philippines to take seriously China’s grave concerns, honor its promise, stop stirring up trouble and making provocations at sea, stop making dangerous moves, stop groundlessly attacking and slandering China and tow away the illegally “grounded” warship as soon as possible so that the peace and stability of the South China Sea will not be jeopardized and the common interests of countries in the region will not be affected. China will continue to take necessary measures in accordance with domestic and international law to firmly safeguard China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.”
Here’s what Hu Xijin recommends
— Xi’s Meetings at sidelines of BRI Forum & Joint Statements Issued
Okay, now let’s look at all the meetings that Xi Jinping had with world leaders on the sidelines of the BRI summit. This is basically from Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s editions of the paper.
First, the readout on the meeting with Vice President of Nigeria Kashim Shettima says that Xi praised the implementation of BRI in Nigeria, saying that “projects including railways, ports, power stations and communications backbone networks have been completed in succession, and remarkable achievements have been made in the development of free trade areas.”
Xi added: “Facing a world fraught with changes and turbulence, China and Nigeria need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation more than ever. China supports Nigeria in pursuing a path to modernization suited to its national conditions, and stands ready to enhance personnel exchanges at all levels with Nigeria to advance high-quality practical cooperation. China supports Nigeria in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs, and would like to strengthen strategic coordination with Nigeria to promote democracy in international relations and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.”
Kashim Shettima said: “China has always treated Nigeria and other African countries with respect and as equals; it has never bossed them around, and has done its best to support the African people in seeking independence and development. He thanked China for proposing a series of important global cooperation initiatives for developing countries, providing valuable assistance for Nigeria's development, and boosting the industrialization process of Nigeria and Africa at large. He stressed that Nigeria attaches great importance to growing relations with China, unswervingly pursues the one-China policy and remains firmly committed to high-level development of Nigeria-China relations.”
Second, the readout of Xi’s meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto says:
“China approaches its relationship with Kenya from a strategic and long-term perspective, and is ready to work with Kenya to promote the continued development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. Xi emphasized that China supports Kenya's independent exploration of its own path of modernization in line with the country's actual situation, and is ready to carry out exchanges of experience in governance with Kenya and step up support to each other. Kenya is welcome to make full use of trade promotion initiatives and platforms such as the "green channel" for African agricultural product exports to China, share in China's market and the dividends of China's opening up, and increase the export of high-quality products of Kenyan features to China. China encourages more Chinese enterprises to invest in Kenya, expand cooperation in digital economy, new energy and other fields, and help Kenya realize green development. The two sides should make good use of such platforms as the Confucius Institute and Luban Workshop to deepen cooperation and cultural exchanges at sub-national level. The two sides also need to strengthen communication and collaboration in multilateral settings to practice true multilateralism and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.”
Ruto reportedly said: “Kenya has benefited greatly from cooperation with China, especially since President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative. Important projects such as the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway have greatly enhanced Kenya's economic development capacity and improved the well-being of its people. Ruto expressed the confidence that the eight major steps proposed by President Xi Jinping for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation will further help Kenya and Africa achieve industrialization, agricultural modernization and economic integration. Kenya is firmly committed to the one-China policy, supports China's rightful position on human rights and other issues, and hopes to learn from China's successful experience in development, and deepen practical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with China…”
I haven’t read anything about further lending or debt restructuring, but AP reported earlier this week that Ruto was seeking additional $1 billion in lending from China.
Third, the readout from Xi’s meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez says:
“In recent years, under the joint guidance of the two presidents, China-Argentina relations have stepped up to new levels. Both China and Argentina are important developing countries, shouldering the historical mission of promoting national development and revitalization, meeting people's aspirations for a better life, and upholding international fairness and justice. China is ready to work with Argentina to enhance the synergy of strategies, promote sustained and stable development of bilateral relations, and set a fine example of solidarity and cooperation between Global South countries. China supports Argentina's efforts in maintaining economic and financial stability, and is ready to share development opportunities and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with Argentina, and deepen practical bilateral cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure and other areas. China would like to import more high-quality Argentine products and encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in Argentina. Xi Jinping congratulated Argentina on joining the BRICS cooperation mechanism upon invitation, noting that China and Argentina need to strengthen strategic coordination within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Group of 20 and the BRICS, promote the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, and advance the building of a global community with a shared future for mankind…”
Fernandez “called China a true friend of Argentina, and noted that President Xi Jinping's important initiatives such as jointly building the Belt and Road and building a global community with a shared future for mankind have shown the way forward for the world, created important opportunities for developing countries, and played an irreplaceable role in promoting world peace, fairness, and sustainable development. Argentina fully agrees with and actively supports these initiatives. Argentina is firmly committed to the one-China principle and hopes to deepen cooperation with China in economy, trade, infrastructure and other areas, and promote further development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between Argentina and China. Argentina will also actively promote the growth of LAC-China relations, and work with China to uphold multilateralism and strengthen communication and collaboration within the frameworks of the G20 and BRICS cooperation mechanism.”
There was an important tangible outcome from this visit. China cleared a currency swap line totaling a freely accessible $6.5 billion for the South American country. FT reports:
“Argentina’s international reserves have fallen to dangerously low levels, forcing it to draw on a currency swap line between its central bank and the People’s Bank of China. The Central Bank of Argentina first began to tap the $18bn facility in April and has spent just under $5bn-worth of renminbi mostly to help Argentine companies pay for imports and to free up cash to shore up the peso. (Economy Minister Sergio) Massa told a local radio station on Wednesday that the latest tranche would be used in the same way, and also to ‘pre-pay’ repayments on Argentina’s loan from the IMF.”
The report adds: “Argentina has about $2.6bn of repayments coming due to the IMF in October as part of its troubled $44bn arrangement. Entering into arrears risks further unsettling markets that have been rocked by pre-election uncertainty following Milei’s unexpected first-round win and annual inflation hitting 138 per cent in September. Argentina’s foreign currency reserves excluding liabilities are estimated to be $7.6bn in the red.”
Fourth, the readout from Xi’s meeting with Vladimir Putin says:
“China will work with Russia and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to forge stronger synergy between the Belt and Road cooperation and the EEU, and carry out regional cooperation at a higher level and greater depths. President Xi expressed his hope for early substantive progress in the China-Mongolia-Russia natural gas pipeline, successful Great Tea Way cross-border tourism cooperation, and the building of the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor as a road for high-quality interconnected development. President Xi stressed that developing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with ever-lasting good neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation is not an expediency, but a long-term commitment. Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. China stands ready to work with Russia to continue adding new dimensions to their practical cooperation with a keen grasp of the trend of the times and bearing in mind the fundamental interests of the two peoples. China supports people of Russia in following their choice of path to national rejuvenation and in safeguarding sovereignty, security and development interests of the country. The two sides will pursue high-quality practical cooperation, actively explore cooperation in emerging industries that are of strategic importance, and take the 2024-2025 China-Russia years of culture as an opportunity to carry out more diverse cultural activities.”
He then talked about supporting Russia in hosting the next BRICS summit, saying that the “recent historic expansion of BRICS membership has shown the confidence of developing countries in pursuing a multi-polar world and making international relations more democratic.” He also talked about working together at multilateral frameworks, “play a greater role in ensuring food security, energy security and stable global industrial and supply chains, and uphold the shared interests of the two countries, the region and the developing world.”
Putin is quoted as saying that: “The evolution of the international landscape fully proves President Xi’s strategic judgment that the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century. Russia is ready to work with China to enhance communication and coordination in BRICS and other multilateral mechanisms, defend the international system based on international law and promote the building of a more just and equitable global governance system. There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. Russia is firmly committed to the one-China policy and firmly supports China in safeguarding its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.” They also discussed the Israel-Palestine issue.
Putin had a press briefing after the talks. Some key excerpts:
“You said yourself that the President of China and I talked for three hours – that is too long to explain in full now. We discussed the entire bilateral agenda, which includes many issues – economics, finance, political interaction, and joint work on international platforms. We discussed the situation in the Middle East at length. I informed the President about the situation in Ukraine in detail. So probably, as we talked for three hours, I would also need three hours to review every detail now. We do not have as much time as that, but we do not need it: I have given you the main highlights. So much for the first part. Second, regarding the influence of external factors and conflicts on the development of Russian-Chinese relations, all these external factors amount to common threats, and they strengthen Russian-Chinese interaction. I am optimistic about specific prospects. In March, we reached certain agreements and set forth eight clauses. Right now, the prime ministers will have to clarify these clauses in Bishkek, and they will sign a plan for our interaction until 2030. This is a very good, specific and substantial plan. I would also like to draw attention to the fact that both sides are doing this without any procrastination or administrative red tape. To be honest, this is something unusual even for the government agencies of any country, and this is not just about China and Russia. As a rule, these large-scale events, charted by us until 2030, are quite specific and it usually takes bureaucratic agencies several months to work them out. We have done this rather quickly, giving us reason to believe that we will also implement them quite fast. The trade volumes that we are discussing today are really impressive. Actually, we set the task of attaining $200 billion in 2024. When we formulated this objective in 2019, I will tell you frankly that few people believed that this was realistically possible because our trade volumes totalled $100 billion at that time; and they have already reached $200 billion, earlier than planned. I would like to note one more aspect: I said that Russia was China’s sixth-largest trade partner. In reality, even judging by purely formal criteria, this is not so, Russia occupies a higher position because this includes Hong Kong and the second part of China, all this amounts to China, and, strictly speaking, we do not have to heed these two factors. Keeping in mind that trade turnover between neighbouring countries (I mean South Korea and Japan) is always higher than between other states, then in effect, speaking of non-regional countries, we are China’s second largest partner after the United States, and we have outstripped the Federal Republic of Germany in this respect.”
Putin called BRI a “global initiative” and in comparison, the Greater Eurasian Partnership initiative, he said was a “local-scale project”. He also emphasised synergy rather than competition. A lot of the briefing discussed the Israel-Palestine issue, which I am not convering. But this came at the end:
Alexander Yunashev: About tea parties, if it is no secret. You left the building where the talks were two or three hours ago, and you have only just arrived here. Perhaps President Xi gave you a tour of Beijing, just as you invited him to your place to have tea by the fireplace before? If I may ask.
Vladimir Putin: Well, yes, we had a small lunch, a business lunch with foreign ministers from both sides, with aides, and then President Xi suggested speaking in private. He and I had a private conversation indeed, just talked over a cup of tea. We talked for another hour and a half, maybe two hours, and discussed some very confidential issues face to face. It was a very productive and informative part of our meeting.
If you are further interested, here is Putin’s speech at the Belt and Road Forum. Finally, while discussing China and Russia, do check out this SCMP story: “India resists Russia pressure to pay for oil imports in Chinese yuan — Some Russian energy suppliers are demanding payment in yuan, but New Delhi fears popularising the Chinese currency could hurts its efforts to internationalise the rupee.”
Fifth, the readout on Xi’s meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has Xi saying that “The United Nations is an important partner in jointly building the Belt and Road. China is ready to work closely with UN agencies to promote the high-quality development of the Belt and Road and contribute to global peace and development. China supports the work of the UN and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and is ready to enhance cooperation with UN agencies to promote multilateralism, build a multi-polar world, and make global governance more just and equitable.”
Guterres is quoted as saying that: “The UN highly appreciates China's firm commitment to upholding multilateralism, supports the three major global initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping, and is firmly committed to deepening cooperation with China.”
Sixth, the readout of Xi’s meeting with Prime Minister of Mozambique Adriano Afonso Maleiane says:
“China is ready to work with Mozambique and other African countries to build the Belt and Road to high standard, and promote the implementation of three cooperative measures, namely, the Initiative on Supporting Africa's Industrialization, the Plan for China Supporting Africa's Agricultural Modernization, and the Plan for China-Africa Cooperation on Talent Development. China will also enhance policy connectivity and joint planning and share development opportunities and outcomes with Mozambique to help African countries accelerate the process of modernization…China supports Mozambique in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and following a development path suited to its own national conditions. The two sides need to deepen cooperation in such fields as energy and agriculture, and promote educational, cultural, sub-national and non-governmental exchanges. China is ready to step up communication with Mozambique on such multilateral platforms as the United Nations, and promote the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative.”
Maleiane said: “the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative and other important initiatives are conducive to helping other countries eliminate poverty, grow the economy and improve the people's livelihood. China's development and foreign policies are based on peace, equality, respect and friendship, and are positive energy for world peace and development. Maleiane noted that China has always given Mozambique firm support as a true friend, either during Mozambique’s struggle for national independence or the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Mozambique is firmly committed to the one-China policy, and hopes to learn from China’s experience in modernization to find a better way to realize its own development, and deepen practical cooperation with China across the board to promote the building of a human community with a shared future for mankind.”
Seventh, the readout of Xi’s meeting with Thai PM Srettha Thavisin says:
“China is ready to work with Thailand to add new dimensions to the ‘family-like relations’ in the new era and turn the strengths of traditional friendship into momentum for win-win cooperation. Xi Jinping stressed that China supports Thailand in following a development path suited to its national conditions. The two sides should continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests and major concerns, strive to be pacesetters in high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, speed up the construction of the China-Thailand Railway, expand cooperation in fields like the digital economy, green development and new energy, and strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The two sides should also intensify efforts to crack down on cross-border crimes such as wire fraud and online gambling to create a safe and secure environment for the development of the two countries. China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Thailand within multilateral frameworks like ASEAN, the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, and the United Nations, and share with Thailand the opportunities presented by China's vast market and high-standard opening up, so as to inject positive energy into Asia's development, and make positive contributions to global governance reform.”
Thavisin reportedly said: “Thailand will follow through on the important outcomes of President Xi Jinping's visit to Thailand last November and work with China to build a Thailand-China community with a shared future for enhanced stability, prosperity and sustainability. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. Thailand respects China's core interests and firmly abides by the one-China principle. Srettha Thavisin expressed his hope that the two sides will deepen practical cooperation in various fields, jointly build the Thailand-China Railway, and advance the implementation of the China-Laos-Thailand Connectivity Development Corridor Outlook. Thailand will spare no effort to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in Thailand, and welcomes more Chinese companies and tourists to the country for investment and sightseeing.”
The two sides also issued a joint statement. Key excerpts:
Both sides will continue to support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns. The Chinese side respects the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Thailand. The Thai side firmly upholds the One-China Policy, and recognises the Government of the People's Republic of China as the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan as an inalienable part of China. The Thai side also supports China's ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle.
Both sides agreed to make solid efforts to advance the China-Laos-Thailand Connectivity Development Corridor Outlook, accelerate the construction of the China-Thailand high-speed railway and connect the China-Laos railway with Thailand's railway system at an early date, so as to optimize the logistics chains, industrial chains and supply chains, and create conditions for integrated development of the sub-region.
Both sides agreed to underline the role of the China-Thailand Joint Committee on Trade, Investment, and Economic Cooperation at the Deputy Prime Minister level, expand practical cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture, forestry, fishery, infrastructure, information and telecommunications and other areas, and continue to promote bilateral trade cooperation on agricultural products and enhance the competitiveness of Thai products in China through various channels, including e-commerce cooperation, trade and investment promotion platforms and expositions and events hosted by both sides. The Thai side welcomes more Chinese investment in Thailand and both sides will strengthen cooperation on emerging industries, including electric vehicles, clean energy, digital economy, artificial intelligence and aerospace science and technology. Both sides support concluding the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area 3.0 Upgrade Negotiation by the end of 2024. Both sides support the full and effective implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The Thai side also supports the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China in joining the RCEP.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in the fields of culture, education, health, tourism, sports, youth, think tanks, media and sister cities. Both sides will encourage further exchange of tourists and underscore the importance of quality services and tourist safety. Both sides agreed to resume their discussion on the bilateral agreement on visa exemption for holders of ordinary passports.
Both sides agreed to deepen cooperation in defense and law enforcement, promote cooperation in the fields of joint exercises, personnel training, equipment and technology, legal affairs and criminal justice system, as well as jointly prevent and strengthen cooperation on combating transnational crimes, in particular drug trafficking, human trafficking, online gambling, online, digital and telecommunication scams, money laundering, and terrorism.
The statement talks about potential for cooperation under GDI, GSI and GCI.
The two sides signed cooperation documents on diplomacy, Belt and Road cooperation, digital economy, customs, film, culture, information and other areas.
Eighth, the readout of Xi’s meeting with Egyptian PM Mostafa Madbouly says:
“China supports Egypt in following a development path suited to its national conditions. China is ready to deepen synergy of development strategies with Egypt, encourage capable Chinese companies to invest and do business in Egypt, and welcome more high-quality Egyptian products to enter the Chinese market. China will work with Egypt to follow through on the outcomes of the third BRF, strengthen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, agricultural technology and renewable energy, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation, and continuously advance the development of China-Egypt comprehensive strategic partnership. Xi Jinping congratulated Egypt on joining the BRICS cooperation mechanism upon invitation, and pointed out that China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Egypt within the China-Arab and China-Africa frameworks, enhance coordination and cooperation at the United Nations, BRICS and other multilateral platforms, uphold true multilateralism and international fairness and justice, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries, so as to inject more certainty and stability into the region and the world.”
Madbouly reportedly said that “Egypt sees China as a role model for emerging economies and developing countries…and noted that the Belt and Road cooperation has greatly improved Egypt's transportation and logistics capabilities and given a strong boost to its economic development.” He also called for Chinese companies to invest in Egypt, adding that “Egypt is ready to provide policy support and security guarantee to this end. Madbouly thanked China for supporting Egypt's accession to the BRICS cooperation mechanism, and expressed his readiness to work closely with China in multilateral cooperation to make the international landscape more balanced and just.”
The readout then talks about Xi’s views on the Israel-Palestine issue: “President Xi stated China’s principled position on the current Palestinian-Israeli situation. He stressed that the top priority is to stop the fighting as soon as possible, prevent the conflict from spreading or even getting out of control and causing a severe humanitarian crisis. The fundamental way out of the recurring Palestinian-Israeli conflicts is to implement the two-state solution, establish an independent State of Palestine and achieve peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel. China commends Egypt's important role in helping cool down the situation, supports Egypt's efforts to open a humanitarian corridor, and stands ready to strengthen coordination with Egypt and other Arab countries to work for a comprehensive, just and enduring solution to the Palestinian question at an early date. Madbouly said that Egypt and other Arab countries highly appreciate China's consistent and just position on the Palestinian question and expect China to play a bigger role in solving the current crisis.”
Ninth, the readout from Xi’s chat with NDB chief Dilma Rousseff says:
Xi “noted that the world today is facing intertwined risks and crises. As an important emerging force in the international financial system, the New Development Bank should play its due role, and build itself into a new-type multilateral development institution in the 21st century that works to make the international financial system fairer and more equitable and effectively enhance the representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries. China welcomes the New Development Bank’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative and the Global Development Initiative and its contribution to the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development…”
Tenth, the readout from Xi’s meeting with Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh says:
“Xi Jinping noted that China is ready to work with Mongolia to respect each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, support each other in safeguarding respective core interests, and build a solid foundation for the China-Mongolia community with a shared future. China will continue to help Mongolia revitalize its economy, move ahead with the construction of relevant border ports in an orderly manner, and open up new channels for connectivity between the two countries. The China-Mongolia Desertification Prevention and Control Cooperation Center has been established. China will continue to support Mongolia's ‘Planting One Billion Trees’ plan, and join hands with Mongolia in carrying out ecological conservation. China would also like to expand trilateral cooperation with Mongolia and Russia, and steadily advance the building of the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor.”
Khurelsukh was quoted as saying that “Mongolia takes developing relations with China as a key priority in its foreign policy…Mongolia is ready to strengthen high-level exchanges with China, respect and support each other and promote cooperation in such areas as trade and economy, connectivity, mining and energy, desertification prevention and control, green development as well as enhancing people-to-people exchanges. Mongolia highly appreciates China's important role in maintaining world peace and stability, and supports the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping. Mongolia places a high premium on the Mongolia-China-Russia cooperation and is ready to closely communicate and collaborate with China in multilateral fields.”
Eleventh, the readout of Xi’s meeting with President of the Republic of Congo (ROC) Denis Sassou-N’Guesso says:
“China values the friendship between the two countries and is ready to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with the ROC within the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China is also ready to work with the ROC to explore and cultivate new growth drivers for cooperation in areas like digital economy and green development, so as to continuously elevate the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries to new heights. Xi Jinping emphasized that shared ideals, mutual trust and mutual support are the key to the sustained and steady growth of China-ROC relations. China appreciates the resolute support given by the ROC on issues related to China’s core interests and major concerns. China supports the ROC in safeguarding national independence, opposing foreign interference, and adhering to a development path that suits its national conditions, and supports the ROC in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs. China also stands ready to coordinate closely with the ROC in multilateral arena to promote the building of a fairer and more equitable international order.”
Sassou-N’Guesso called BRI “a new model of inclusive development.” “The ROC firmly adheres to the one-China policy and looks forward to continuing mutual support with China, strengthening pragmatic cooperation in infrastructure, green energy and other fields, and enhancing communication and collaboration within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The ROC actively supports President Xi Jinping's Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, and believes that these important initiatives are conducive to upholding multilateralism and international fairness and justice.”
Twelfth, the readout of Xi’s meeting with Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Manet says:
Both China and Cambodia are countries that value friendship, and the China-Cambodia ironclad friendship is unbreakable. The two sides need to visit each other frequently, maintain high-level strategic communication, make good use of the Intergovernmental Coordination Committee mechanism, and implement the action plan for building a China-Cambodia community with a shared future in the new era, to bring the two countries even closer. Xi Jinping stressed that the Belt and Road cooperation has brought tangible development opportunities to Cambodia. China is ready to uphold the principle of ‘planning together, building together, and benefiting together’, enhance synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Cambodia's Pentagonal Strategy, flesh out the China-Cambodia ‘diamond hexagon’ cooperation framework at a faster pace, build well the ‘Industrial Development Corridor’ and the ‘Fish and Rice Corridor’, and push for the implementation of more projects that benefit the people. China supports Cambodia's projects such as airport construction and cultural relic restoration, welcomes more Cambodian agricultural products to the Chinese market, and encourages more Chinese tourists to visit Cambodia. Xi Jinping expressed his readiness to declare together with Hun Manet the year 2024 the China-Cambodia Year of People-to-People Exchanges.”
Hun Manet said that “Cambodia steadfastly pursues a friendly policy toward China and firmly supports China's core interests…Cambodia actively supports the series of important initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping, and believe that they have provided important opportunities and platforms for world peace and development.”
Thirteenth, the readout of Xi’s meeting with Turkmenistan’s Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov says:
Xi said that “China appreciates Turkmenistan’s strong support on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns, and will continue to support Turkmenistan in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security, and development interests and in pursuing a development path that suits its national conditions…Xi said both sides need to scale up trade and expand cooperation in areas such as medical and health care, sports, tourism, and culture, ensure the success of the Year of Culture in each other’s country, and enable the establishment of Luban Workshop in Turkmenistan at an early date. China will work with Turkmenistan to implement the outcomes of the China-Central Asia Summit to better advance cooperation across the board.”
Fourteenth, the readout of Xi’s meeting with Pakistan PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar says:
“China is ready to carry forward traditional friendship with Pakistan, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and accelerate the building of an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era. Xi Jinping stressed that China appreciates Pakistan's firm support for China's core interests over the years and will, as always, support Pakistan in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and in independently choosing a development path suited to its national conditions. The two sides should take the 10th anniversary of the CPEC this year as an opportunity to build an ‘upgraded version’ of the corridor featuring growth, livelihood, innovation, greenness and openness, strengthen cooperation in areas like industrial park, agriculture, mining and new energy, and promote the early implementation of major connectivity projects and the achievement of practical results. China welcomes Pakistan's efforts to increase export of high-quality agricultural products to China, and expects the Pakistani side to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan. China is ready to strengthen coordination with Pakistan within the frameworks of the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to promote regional unity and cooperation and safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries.”
The Pakistani PM said: “Pakistan firmly abides by the one-China principle and stands with China on issues concerning China's core interests, which is the cross-party consensus of Pakistan. Pakistan will always be a trustworthy and reliable friend of China, will never allow any force to undermine the friendship between Pakistan and China, and will remain committed to deepening the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between Pakistan and China. Pakistan is ready to work closely with China to promote the high-quality development of the CPEC. The Pakistani government will make every effort to protect the safety and interests of Chinese citizens and institutions in Pakistan.”
The two sides then issued a joint statement. An English version is available on the Pakistani foreign ministry’s website. Some key excerpts:
“The two sides agreed that China and Pakistan are All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners and iron brothers; friendship between the two countries is time-tested and unbreakable. The Chinese side reiterated that the China-Pakistan relationship is a priority in its foreign relations. The Pakistani side underscored that the Pakistan-China relationship is the cornerstone of its foreign policy. The two sides will continue to view the relationship between China and Pakistan from a strategic and long-term perspective, move forward together on the path of development, and accelerate the building of an even closer China-Pakistan Community with a Shared Future in the new era.”
“The two sides reaffirmed their support for each other on issues concerning their respective core interests and major concerns. The Pakistani side reaffirmed its firm commitment to the one-China Principle and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and Pakistan firmly supports the Chinese government’s efforts to achieve national reunification, and opposes any form of “Taiwan independence.” Pakistan firmly supports China on issues concerning the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Xizang. The Chinese side reiterated its support for Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, national independence and territorial integrity, in pursuing a development path of economic stability suited to Pakistan’s national conditions, in fighting terrorism, and in playing a bigger role in regional and international affairs.”
Recognizing the significance of Gwadar Port as an important node in cross-regional connectivity, the two sides agreed to speed up development of the Port and its auxiliary projects. The two sides reviewed with satisfaction the progress of the desalination plant, the New Gwadar International Airport (NGIA), the Pak-China Friendship Hospital and other projects. Both sides reiterated their resolve to make Gwadar a high-quality port, a regional trade hub and a connectivity node.
On ML-1 upgradation, it talks about the need to “implement the project at an early date” and calls for fast-tracking the Karakoram Highway (Raikot-Thakot section) realignment project; it talks about launching the “preparatory work for D.I. Khan-Zhob Road Project.” On solar and renewable energy projects, it says that “Both sides encourage Chinese companies to further participate in the development of such projects in line with normal commercial principles to achieve win-win outcomes.”
The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the mining industry, including in the fields of geological survey, joint research on geology and minerals, training of talent, and planning of mining industrial parks.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the progress of cooperation on Currency Swap Agreement and Renminbi settlement and clearing, and agreed to further strengthen financial and banking cooperation. The Pakistani side thanked China’s valuable support for its financial sector.
The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side reiterated that Kashmir is a long-standing dispute left from history that should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
The two sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Chinese side recognized Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices in combating terrorism. The two sides agreed to further enhance counter-terrorism cooperation to promote world peace and security. The Pakistani side reiterated its commitment to ensuring the safety and security of all Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan, and to hold accountable the perpetrators of the terrorist attacks targeting Chinese personnel. The Chinese side appreciated the great efforts taken by the Pakistani side in this regard. Both sides expressed complete satisfaction over ongoing bilateral security cooperation and agreed to strengthen it further.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the close cooperation, trust and communication between the armed forces of the two countries. Underscoring that stronger strategic defence and security cooperation between China and Pakistan is an important factor of peace and stability in the region, the two sides agreed to maintain high-level mil-to-mil visits and exchanges and deepen cooperation in areas of training, joint exercises and military technology.
Pakistan backed GDI, GSI and GCI.
The two sides expressed deep concerns over the current escalation of tensions and violence between Palestine and Israel, and called for an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities and every possible effort to protect civilians and avert an even worse humanitarian disaster in Gaza. Both sides reiterated that the fundamental way out of the conflict lies in implementing the two-state solution and establishing an independent State of Palestine. The international community needs to act with greater urgency, step up input into the Palestinian question, facilitate the early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and find a way to bring about enduring peace.
The two sides signed 20 agreements and MoUs, covering cooperation on the BRI, infrastructure, mining, industry, green and low-carbon development, health, space cooperation, digital economy, development cooperation and export of agricultural products to China.
Fifteenth, the readout on Xi’s meeting with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe says:
“Xi Jinping emphasized that China firmly supports Sri Lanka in upholding strategic autonomy, and safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and dignity. China is ready to expand import of signature Sri Lankan products, and encourage Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Sri Lanka to help the country realize economic transformation and upgrading and sustainable development. China hopes that Sri Lanka will provide an open and transparent business environment for Chinese enterprises. China will continue to provide assistance to Sri Lanka with no political strings attached, and help the country cope with difficulties affecting social life and people’s livelihood. The two sides should make every effort to push forward the Colombo Port City and Hambantota comprehensive development project, making them flagship projects of China-Sri Lanka Belt and Road cooperation. China is happy to see Sri Lanka become a commercial center of the Indian Ocean. The two sides should step up coordination in international and regional affairs, oppose politicization of human rights issues and bloc confrontation, and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and fellow developing countries.”
Wickremesinghe is quoted as saying:
“The development of the Belt and Road, especially the Maritime Silk Road, has greatly facilitated Sri Lanka's economic and social development and is conducive to enhancing Sri Lanka's unique influence in the region. Sri Lanka hopes to work more closely with China in the future, as China can be an important partner in Sri Lanka's modernization. Sri Lanka firmly adheres to the one-China policy and hopes to learn from China's experience in development. Sri Lanka welcomes Chinese enterprises’ investment in the country, and is ready to provide them with an enabling business environment. Sri Lanka believes that the Indian Ocean should embrace openness, and is ready to strengthen communication with China on regional affairs and support the solidarity and cooperation among developing countries.”
The two sides issued a joint statement, which is available in English. Key excerpts:
The two sides reiterated mutual support on issues regarding each other's core interests and major concerns. Sri Lanka reaffirmed its commitment to the one-China principle, recognizing that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, and reiterated that it supports the efforts by the Chinese Government to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and opposes any form of ‘Taiwan independence.’ Sri Lanka reiterated that it will never allow any separatist activity against China on Sri Lanka's soil. The Chinese side reaffirmed its commitment to the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and the foreign policy of forging friendship and partnership in the neighbourhood. China firmly supports Sri Lanka in upholding its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, respects and supports Sri Lanka's independent choice of development path that suits its national conditions.
Sri Lanka commended China's achievements in its economic and social development in recent years under the wise leadership of President Xi Jinping.
China has provided a financing support document to Sri Lanka in a timely manner and helped Sri Lanka obtain loans from the International Monetary Fund in March 2023. In late September, as official creditor, the Export-Import Bank of China has reached a preliminary agreement with Sri Lanka on the debt treatment. China will continue to support its financial institutions in conducting friendly consultation with Sri Lanka to reach early agreement on treatment of debts related to China. The Chinese side is willing to work with relevant countries and international financial institutions to keep playing a positive role in helping Sri Lanka address its current difficulties, alleviate debt burden and realize sustainable development. Sri Lanka commended China for its support to Sri Lanka to ease financial difficulties.
The Chinese side is ready to carry out technological exchanges and training cooperation in areas including bio-technologies for tropical crops, plant breeding, aquaculture, agricultural processing, market development and agriculture modernization, thus helping Sri Lanka enhance its comprehensive agricultural production capacity. The Chinese side welcomes more imports of quality agricultural products from Sri Lanka.
China is ready to provide facilitation for Sri Lanka to build a Sri Lankan Buddhist pagoda at the Baima Temple in Luoyang, Henan Province, China.
The two sides will take the China (Chongqing)-Sri Lanka Roundtable on Poverty Reduction and Development Cooperation as a starting point to enhance experience sharing on poverty reduction by establishing platforms, organizing training and promoting think tank exchanges.
The two sides are ready to strengthen coordination and deepen exchanges and cooperation in fields including disaster prevention and mitigation, maritime rescue, relief and research, maritime personnel training and capacity building and further explore cooperation on the blue economy. The two sides agreed to sign the Tri-Partite Agreement among Chinese Academy of Sciences of the People's Republic of China, Ministry of Water Supply & Estate Infrastructure Development of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and the University of Peradeniya of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka firmly supports and actively participates in the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security initiative (GSI), and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) proposed by China. China is ready to conduct in-depth discussions with Sri Lanka on specific measures to implement the above-mentioned initiatives, and work together for global and regional peace, security, development and prosperity.
The deals signed during this visit include:
MoU on Jointly Accelerating the Formulation of the Cooperation Plan on the Belt and Road Initiative
MoU on cooperation between the NDRC and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization & National Policies
MoU between the the NDRC and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance, Economic Stabilization & National Policies on Green and Low-Carbon Development
The Implementation Agreement of China-Aid Subsidized Housing Project for Low Income Category at Colomboto share development experiences, synergize development strategies and advance cooperation in a coordinated manner
The two sides agreed to sign the Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for Export of Ceylon Cinnamon from Sri Lanka to China
Also, they signed a the Protocol on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Sanitary Requirements for Wild Fishing Aquatic Products to be Exported from the Sri Lanka to China
The two sides agreed to support the development of the ‘;China-Sri Lanka Joint Center of Science and Education.’ The two sides agreed to sign the Letter of Exchange of Feasibility Study on China-Aid Project of Digital Transformation for the General Education in Sri Lanka.
Sixteenth, the readout after Xi’s meeting with Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng says:
Xi said that “It is important that the two sides maintain strategic communication, learn from each other, and pursue strategies for national prosperity and development that suit their own national conditions. Both countries should stay committed to the principle of ‘planning together, building together, and benefiting together’, and move more quickly to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the ‘Two Corridors, One Economic Belt’ initiative by fully leveraging their strengths in geographical proximity and industrial complementarity. Priority should be given to advancing cooperation in strategic areas like connectivity and bolstering collaboration in emerging sectors such as e-commerce. China stands ready to further increase the import of high-quality Vietnamese products. The two countries should continue to forge closer bonds between the two peoples and at sub-national levels, especially among the younger generation, so as to pass on the traditional friendship from generation to generation.”
The Vietnamese president said that “President Xi’s speech at the opening of the forum was visionary, encompassing both strategic planning and specific measures, showcasing the role of China as a major country and the role of the Communist Party of China (CPC) as a major party. It will have a significant impact in guiding future international cooperation and global development. Vietnam admires the significant achievements of the CPC in theoretical and practical innovation. President Xi’s governance philosophy has been inspiring to the party and government of Vietnam. Vietnam views China’s development as an opportunity and supports socialist China in developing itself and achieving its goal of building a strong China as scheduled. The Vietnamese side believes that China will make a greater contribution to world peace and development. Vietnam firmly adheres to the one-China principle, and is ready to maintain high-level strategic communication with China, upgrade the positioning of Vietnam-China relations, and continuously enrich the substance of the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era.”
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