Remarks by Ambassador Qu Zhe at the Reception for the Estonia-China Parliamentary Group
2013/12/10

Dear Chairman Mr. Sester,

Distinguished guests,

It is so nice to have you all again in this traditional annual get-together, to celebrate the Christmas and the New Year as well as our fabulous friendship. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, my wife and I would like to extend our warm welcome and festive greetings to you all.

Dear friends,

The year of 2013 is drawing to the end. After recalling the events happened in this year, I found many opportunities for cooperation and development. Therefore I would call the year 2013 as a year of opportunities. In this year, several important meetings took place and many influential documents were issued. All these will definitely make a significant impact on our bilateral relations and bring new opportunities to our cooperation. Let me just mention two or three of them.

I would first like to mention the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee held in Beijing. This meeting attracted world-wide attention as it unveiled a new outline for comprehensively deepening China’s reform in the next ten years. Since a massive economic transformation drive was launched in 1978, China has maintained economic growth for decades and become the world’s second largest economy. After 35 years of exploration and achievements, China’s reform has reached a crucial stage and waded into the deep water zone where tough challenges must be tackled. To keep up growth, China needs to take bold steps to adjust its economy and cut red tapes. I am confident that with the implementation of the reform measures charted in the roadmap, the upgraded Chinese economy will continue to play an important role in the world economy, thus providing new opportunities for cooperation between China and the world including Estonia.

Secondly, I would like to talk about China-EU relations. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between China and the EU. The 16th China-EU Summit took place in Beijing and made great achievements in many areas. The two sides jointly issued the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation and officially announced the start of negotiations on the Investment Agreement. We are actively exploring the implementation of feasibility study on free trade area (FTA), and striving to make trade value reach one trillion US dollars by 2020.

The third event I would like to share with you is the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit held just two weeks ago in Romania. Chinese Premier Mr. Li Keqiang and heads of governments of the 16 CEE countries including Estonian Prime Minister Mr. Andrus Ansip participated in the summit during which they set out the guidelines for future cooperation between China and the 16 countries. According to the document issued after the summit, both sides will intensify economic and trade cooperation and strive to double China-CEEC trade value to over 100 billion dollars in five years. Both sides will also enhance cooperation in the areas of finance, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, energy, culture, education and tourism, etc.

During the summit, Premier Li and Prime Minister Ansip held their first bilateral meeting. The two leaders agreed to work with each other to enhance political mutual trust between the two countries, to boost cooperation in economy, trade, transport infrastructure and other fields and to expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, so as to push for the healthy and stable development of China-Estonia relations.

Dear friends,

Mutual understanding and respect are the foundation of our bilateral relations. To further advance China-Estonia cooperation, we need to make relentless efforts and overcome various kinds of obstacles. As members of Parliament, you are the important voices and forces in the Estonian political arena. I sincerely hope you could exercise your special influence and make good use of your unique role to promote the healthy development of China-Estonia relations.

I now propose a toast,

to greater friendship and cooperation between China and Estonia,

and to the health and happiness of you all.

Cheers!

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