Ambassador Liu Yantao Attended and Addressed the 2nd China-Cyprus Youth Forum


The full text of his speech is as follows:


Good morning. Today we get together at the 2nd China-Cyprus Youth Forum. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Cyprus, I would like to express heartfelt thanks to the co-hosts of the Forum. They are: the University of Cyprus, the Cypriot Embassy in China, the University of International Business and Economics, and Shihezi University. I also want to extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests and friends here.

A Chinese saying goes, “Nothing, not even mountains and seas, can separate people with shared aspirations”. Last year, our two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties. Taking this as an opportunity, we successfully held the first China-Cyprus Youth Forum. The Forum is a bridge of friendship and exchanges between our young people. It has been highly recognized by leaders of our two countries.

Today, our young people are meeting here once again to renew friendship and deepen cooperation. This time, the forum has greater size, level of participation and influence. It has become a pacesetter for youth and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries.

Last month, the Communist Party of China successfully held its 20th National Congress. It has charted the course for China’s future development. It has injected strong impetus into China’s friendly exchanges with other countries. And it is important for history and for the world.

This month, we will celebrate the first anniversary of the China-Cyprus strategic partnership. This shows the greater development and bright prospects of our bilateral ties in the new era. In this context, this forum is particularly timely and significant, with young people encouraged to have in-depth discussions and carry forward the friendship. This will further boost the friendship and cooperation between our two countries.


Today, sustainable development is one of the most pressing tasks of the world. Last February, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a warning. It said that the climate changes faster than people’s ability to adapt. It also said that humanity’s emission reduction efforts cannot limit temperature rise within 1.5 Celsius degree by the end of this century.

Meanwhile, due to factors related to economy, finance, energy, food, industrial and supply chains, some countries are wavering in their climate policies. Climate change is a global challenge. It affects all countries. No country is able to stay away from it. We must work together to promote green transformation and high-quality development, so as to protect the earth, our shared home.

China pursues sustainable development. We believe that clean waters and green mountains are valuable assets. We advocate harmony between people and nature in modernization.

In the past decade, China’s CO2 emissions per unit of GDP have dropped by 34.4%. China has led the world in forest expansion and new energy vehicle sales. In the past 5 years, China’s installed capacity of offshore wind power is bigger than that of all other countries combined.

I once worked in Xinjiang. It has the largest desert area in China. Thanks to our long-term efforts, deserts no longer erode human habitats. More green spaces are emerging on the deserts.  

China aims to peak CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. This will be the world’s most intensive emission reduction, and also the fastest progress from carbon peak to neutrality.

As strategic partners, China and Cyprus both pursue green transformation. Cyprus gives priority to climate change in foreign policy and emphasizes green development in economic and social development.

China applauds this. We are ready to enhance synergy with Cyprus Vision 2035 and implement the Global Development Initiative together with Cyprus.

We are ready to deepen practical cooperation with Cyprus in green recovery, environmental technology, circular economy and clean energy, and implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This will not only benefit our two peoples, but also contribute to global sustainable development.


The deficit in peace, development, security, and governance is growing in the contemperary world. To effectively meet these challenges, we need to draw wisdom from the fine traditional culture.

In fact, tradition is the past modernity, and modernity is the future tradition. Fine traditional culture is the basis for the development of a country and a nation.

Promoting fine traditional culture does not mean returning to the past. Instead, we need to adapt it to the modern society and meet people’s aspirations for a better life.

The Tokyo Summer Olympics and Beijing Winter Olympics both added the word “together” to the Olympic motto. This is a good example to show how humanity has creatively adapted traditional culture to address today’s problems.

China is an ancient civilization with a history of 5,000 years. We have fostered our way of viewing the universe, the world, society, and morality. At the same time, we have adapted them to the new domestic and international situation today, and to address problems of our times and the world.

The Chinese people understand that the world is diverse. All living things may grow side by side without harming one another. Different roads may run in parallel without interfering with one another.

Therefore, China upholds true multilateralism, promotes greater democracy in international relations, and works to build a human community with a shared future.

Since ancient times, the Chinese people have put justice before selfish gains. We believe that a country should never sacrifice justice for selfish gains. So China is always a responsible major country. We have actively taken international responsibilities within our capacity. And we have extended a helping hand to countries in need.

In addition, the Chinese people believe that contentment brings no shame, and knowledge of the limit brings no danger. It is important to accommodate everybody’s legitimate concerns. Live and let live - this is the way to solve problems in a fair and sustained manner.

In this context, we have put forward the Global Security Initiative. We advocate that security is indivisible. No country can be secure when others are insecure. A balanced, effective and sustainable security framework needs to be built.

Both China and Cyprus are ancient civilizations. We share much in common. The famous Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis once said, if you look through the appearance of a Chinese, then you see a Greek, and vice versa.

Let me share with you another example. China’s ancient classic book Tao Te Ching said that it needs observation to know others, but reflection to know oneself. At the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Greece, you see the word “Know Thyself”. How similar are they! They both give us much inspiration.

Only heart-to-heart exchanges may last. Our countries need to further strengthen cultural exchanges and mutual learning. We need to jointly promote our fine traditional cultures. In this way, we will contribute more wisdom to meeting challenges in the world and promoting progress of humanity.


Youth is the essence of our lifetime. If a person wants to do something big, he starts from the youth. Young people carry the hope of our countries and the future of China-Cyprus relations. It is important for young people to aim high but stay grounded. Dare to think big and take action but make sure you can deliver. Seize the opportunities of the times; actively meet challenges; and fully demonstrate your vigor and vitality!

Here, I have some suggestions for the young friends here.

First, equality and friendship. This is the fine tradition of China-Cyprus relations. You are expected to carry it forward. Through equal-footed exchanges, you may respect and understand each other and build cordial and lasting friendship.

Second, mutual learning. Young people are encouraged to find the beauty of other cultures, respect them and learn from them. This will help everyone make progress.

Third, innovation. All the young friends here are smart, pioneering and creative. You are encouraged to contribute your wisdom to the cooperation between our two countries. This will create an even brighter future for China-Cyprus relations.

In conclusion, I wish this Forum a full success! Thank you!

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