Remarks by H.E. Liu Yantao Ambassador of China to Cyprus At the Reception in Celebration of the 1st Anniversary of China-Cyprus Strategic Partnership and 51 years of China-Cyprus Diplomatic Ties, and Awarding Ceremony for the Collection of China-Cyprus Friendship Stories
On 14 December 2022, the Chinese Embassy in Cyprus held the Reception in Celebration of the 1st Anniversary of China-Cyprus Strategic Partnership and 51 years of China-Cyprus Diplomatic Ties, and Awarding Ceremony for the Collection of China-Cyprus Friendship Stories. Ambassador Liu Yantao attended and addressed the event. In his remarks, Ambassador Liu stressed that under the strategic guidance of the two presidents, and thanks to the joint efforts of the two sides, the China-Cyprus strategic partnership has got off to a good start in the first year of its establishment. The rich fruits of the strategic partnership are an epitome of the China-Cyprus friendship and cooperation in the past 51 years. The integration of the two ancient civilizations is the defining feature of China-Cyprus state-to-state cooperation and people-to-people ties. The two peoples admire, respect and understand each other. Bilateral relations will enjoy steady and sustained growth. The full text of the remarks is as follows:
Your Excellency Madame Annita Demetriou, Acting President of the Republic of Cyprus and President of the House of Representatives,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, we are meeting here to jointly celebrate the 1st anniversary of China-Cyprus strategic partnership and 51 years of our diplomatic ties, as well as the success of the Collection of China-Cyprus Friendship Stories. Our two countries are good partners supporting each other through thick and thin. All of you present are good friends caring for the growth of China-Cyprus ties. Here, on behalf of the Chinese embassy in Cyprus, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to you for attending this reception, and express heartfelt thanks to you for contributing to China-Cyprus relations. The integration of two ancient civilizations is the defining feature of the China-Cyprus state-to-state cooperation and people-to-people ties.
On November 30, 2021, President Xi Jinping and President Nicos Anastasiades had a phone call, where they jointly decided to upgrade China-Cyprus ties into a strategic partnership. This is a shared political decision made by the two presidents in light of the trend of the times and aspirations of the two peoples. It has injected strong impetus to the further growth of our bilateral relations.
Over the past year, under the strategic guidance of the two presidents, and thanks to the joint efforts of the two sides, the China-Cyprus strategic partnership has got off to a good start.
First, we have upheld shared principles arising from the basic norms governing international relations. We have continued to firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns. The Chinese side has all along supported Cyprus in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity and upheld justice for Cyprus on the Cyprus Question. The Cypriot side has been committed to the one-China principle, and resolutely supported China on issues such as those related to Taiwan and Xinjiang.
At the same time, our two sides have both advocated true multilateralism. We have upheld the UN-centered international system, the international order based on international law, and basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Our two sides have also successfully concluded the first extradition case to fight crime, and defended judicial justice and the dignity of law.
Second, we have advanced shared interests based on the spirit of equality, mutual benefit and win-win. Our two sides have focused on the joint development of digital, green, health and innovation Silk Road. In first 10 months this year, our bilateral trade reached 924 million US dollars, up more than 50% over last year.
The Cypriot national pavilions at China International Import Expo and on JD online shopping platform have attracted wide attention. The LNG terminal project undertaken by China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering has overcome difficulties and progressed well.
Third, we have strengthened educational, cultural and people-to-people exchanges under the principle of mutual appreciation and mutual learning. Our two sides have signed an MOU on cooperation in higher education and scientific research. The Digital Economy College jointly established by the European University Cyprus and Minjiang University of Fujian Province is progressing well. Sister city relationships have been set up between Ningbo and Larnaca and between Fuzhou and Nicosia.
Our two sides have also successfully held the Second China-Cyprus Youth Forum, where youth representatives from political parties, think tanks and universities of our two countries had in-depth discussions. Through the event, they increased mutual understanding, built consensus and deepened friendship.
The rich fruits of the China-Cyprus strategic partnership over the past year are an epitome of the our friendship and cooperation in the past 51 years. The 20th CPC National Congress, which was successfully concluded last October, drew up the blueprint for China’s future development, and set the direction for China’s friendly relations with other countries around the world, including Cyprus.
China and Cyprus are home to Chinese and ancient Greek civilizations respectively. History tells that no civilization is superior to others. Exchanges expand consensus, and mutual appreciation makes each other more inclusive.
The Chinese and Cypriot civilizations, which have much in common, have fostered our shared values. Simliar experience of war and colonial sufferings have made us deeply cherish our national unity, peace and development.
We both reject hegemonism and power politics, and firmly uphold sovereign equality, international fairness and justice. We both understand and respect diversity in the world, and on such basis, resolutely uphold true multilateralism. We both pursue democracy and freedom, while undersanding that under different national conditions, the ways of achieving democracy and freedom are different. We both can go beyond binary perspectives, understand the importance of live and let live, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.
The integration of our two ancient civilizations is the defining feature of our state-to-state cooperation and people-to-people ties. In the Collection of China-Cyprus Friendship Stories, we have received over 130 pieces of articles and videos. From them, we can feel the shared way of thinking and empathy between our two peoples, who admire, respect and understand each other from the bottom of their heart. They have so much in common deep in their mind. In fact, this underpins the steady and sustained growth of China-Cyprus relations, and gives me great confidence in the future of our bilateral ties.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The new year is around the corner. I wish all of you good health, and I hope China-Cyprus relations and our peoples’ friendship will continue to jump to new levels! Thank you.