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Strengthen Solidarity to Meet the Challenges in a Turbulent World
2022-05-06 04:36

1. Ambassador Zhou, China has successfully held Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, making Beijing the world's first "Dual Olympic City" to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, what are your comments on the Games and Team Albania’s performance?

First of all, thank you very much for the interview. As the whole world has witnessed, the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluded with a full success, representing the triumph of sport and solidarity, bringing light of unity and cooperation to the world faced with multiple challenges. IOC President Thomas Bach commented it as “the truly exceptional Olympic Winter Games”. He expressed that the Olympic spirit could shine so brightly, because the Chinese people set the stage in such an excellent way.


I had the honor of attending the Flag-delivering Ceremony of Team Albania to the Beijing Olympics, together with Minister of Education and Sports Evis Kushi and President Fidel Ylli of Albanian Olympic Committee, where I felt the pride and joy of the Albanian people. I am so glad that Team Albania had a great time in Beijing, and skier Denni Xhepa gave a wonderful performance, as everyone here expected.  


The Beijing Olympics is a huge success both for China and the whole world. After the successful event, over 300 million Chinese people now engage in winter sports. The Beijing Olympics once again demonstrate that, facing tremendous challenges, the world can be united under the Olympic spirit, which advocates acting faster, aiming higher, staying stronger, and most of all, standing together.


2. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the second largest economy, China has played a very important role in international affairs. The war in Ukraine has lasted for more than two months, what China can do to deescalate the situation?


The war in Ukraine is very tragic. China wants the war to end as early as possible. Both Russia and Ukraine are China’s friends and important trading partners. Since its outbreak, Chinese President Xi Jinping, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met or exchanged phone calls with leaders of many countries, calling on all relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, and to achieve a ceasefire through peace talks. China has also provided multiple batches of humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.


China’s position is very clear. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and all efforts conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis should be supported. 


Not long ago, at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a Global Security Initiative, which emphasizes that countries should stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, adhere to the direction of promoting peace talks and seek political solutions to hotspot issues, work together to build a balanced, effective and sustainable world security architecture, etc.. This is a significant initiative which has answered questions like, “what kind of security concept does the world need and how can countries achieve common security”. In conclusion, China will unswervingly act as a builder of world peace, a guardian of international order and a mediator of hotspot issues.

3. China and the EU are each other’s biggest trading partner. The leaders of the two sides held meetings and attended the 23rd China-EU Summit not long ago. How do you see the future of China-EU relationship? 


China is the largest developing country, and the EU is the biggest union of developed countries. China-EU relation is crucial to the economic recovery and stability of the world. The two sides hold different views on certain issues, nevertheless, as each other's biggest trading partner, with two-way trade exceeding 800 billion US dollars in 2021, the shared interests between the two sides are much bigger than the differences.

Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping had an in-depth exchange of views in a virtual conference, with President Charles Michel of the European Council and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission. Both sides agreed that, under the current international situation, it is vital for China and the EU to work together in upholding world peace and prosperity, and offset the uncertainties of the world with a stable China-EU relation. To ensure the sustainability of the relations, China called on the EU to form a fair perception of China, adopt a positive China policy. China welcomes European businesses and investment, and expects the EU to provide a transparent and nondiscriminatory environment for Chinese investments and businesses in Europe.


4. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s economy realized a high growth rate. As the pandemic is still spreading in some places of China, what’s your comment on China’s economic prospect?


Despite the challenges from both home and abroad, China’s economy maintained a very sound momentum and achieved outstanding performance. In 2021, China achieved a high economic growth rate of 8.1%, with its GDP reaching USD17.7 trillion. In 2022, the Chinese economy enjoys a good start, with a growth rate of 4.8% in the first quarter. China continues to serve as an important engine of world economy. 


To inject vitality into Chinese economy, the Chinese government is working to foster a new development paradigm, which attaches more importance to domestic market and domestic consumption, while continues to promote foreign trade and investment. This is conducive to the long-term development of China and will also bring broader opportunities and benefits to other countries.


As for the Covid situation in China, the prevention and control measures in some Chinese cities indeed have had some impact on production and people’s daily life. I’d like to point out that China’s Covid measures are in line with China’s realities and WHO’s guiding principles, based on scientific analysis and medical experts’ advices. They have not only effectively guaranteed the safety and health of the Chinese citizens, but also made contribution to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a fact recognized by the international community and the WHO that China’s Covid measures have achieved maximum effect at minimum cost, and saved millions of lives. The vast majority of the Chinese people understand and support the Chinese government’s COVID-19 policy. In the face of the Omicron variant, China will not lie flat and will win the battle.


5. China and Albania friendship has weathered vicissitude and been very much cherished by our two peoples. In such a world faced with many challenges, how should we further consolidate China-Albania relationship? 


China regards Albania as a time-honored friend and an important partner. Albania is among the first countries to establish diplomatic relationship with new China. During 1960s and 1970s, huge amount of assistance were sent from China to Albania, more than 100 industrial projects were built by China, which significantly helped sustain Albania’s economy in those difficult times. After half a century, people of both countries are still telling touching stories of the fraternal ties in those years. I’d also like to mention that, in the past 30 years, China has continued our support for Albania. We’ve sponsored various programs through Chinese government grants which is worth tens of millions of US dollars. It is worth noting that the successful visit to Albania by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister H. E. Wang Yi last October has injected strong impetus to our bilateral cooperation. The two sides has since been working closely to implement the consensus that we reached during the visit. 


In 2021, China-Albania bilateral trade volume increased by 26% year on year. Albania’s export to China in the first quarter of 2022 significantly increase by 67% and import from China increased by 9% year on year, showing very good momentum. The two countries are now in closer contact in advancing pragmatic cooperation in the fields of trade, agriculture, tourism, education etc.. I am confident that our relationship is bound to enjoy a brighter future. 


6. I’ve noticed that to promote bilateral relationship including people to people exchange, Chinese Embassy in Albania has been proactively advancing various projects. What is the focus of your work in the future?   


Like other embassies, we are here serving as a bridge of friendly interactions between the two governments and two peoples. We do what we can and what we are asked to do by our Albanian friends. Our embassy and I myself maintain very good communications with central and local governments, business communities, NGOs, educational institutions etc.. We will continue our efforts in strengthening our cooperation in fields of our mutual interests. I feel particularly honored to have made friends and interacted with many ordinary people, and been able to provide some help to those in need, such as donating earthquake relief supplies to quake affected areas, allocating personal protective equipments in the early outbreak of COVID-19 to hospitals and communities. I’ve also had the honor of visiting Orphanages, Roma families and women with disabilities, and provide our help. Our embassy also joined in the Clean Albania Campaign by helping clean parks and coasts, which make us feel at home in Albania.


A distant journey tests the strength of a horse and A friend in need is a friend indeed. We stay ready to work closely with our Albanian friends for our common prosperity.  

     


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