Chinese Tourists to Continue Helping Croatian Tourism, Excellent Relations

Katarina Anđelković

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Kristina Stedul Fabac / PIXSELL
Kristina Stedul Fabac / PIXSELL

As Poslovni reports, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Croatia held a press conference at the Esplanade Hotel, where the internal and external policy of the People’s Republic of China in 2023 was discussed, as well as the Chinese point of view on various issues related to international relations between Croatia and China, current world events, changes and challenges in politics, economy. In addition, some main points from the “Two Sessions,” an important event in China’s political life, held these days, were also discussed.

Two sessions

H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin, Ambassador of China to Croatia, emphasized four key points of this year’s “Two Sessions”. One is a reform, strengthening the optimization and adaptation of the responsibilities of institutions in the fields of science and technology, the financial regulatory framework, and big data, and reducing the number of staff in central government bodies by 5%. Another is development – in the past five years, China’s GDP has increased to about 18 trillion US dollars, with an average annual growth rate of 5.2%, which ranks it second in the world. This year, stability will be a priority. The goal is to increase the GDP by 5%, which aligns with the consensus forecasts of international financial institutions. Looking ahead, relying on China’s huge market size, complete industrial system, abundant human resources, solid foundations for development, and outstanding institutional advantages, China’s economic growth will have unlimited prospects, which also provides more new opportunities for Croatia and other countries in the world. The third is openness, the fundamental state policy of China. In the past five years, China has decided to open up even more to the outside world and deepen mutually beneficial international economic and trade cooperation. The fourth is China’s modernization, which strives to achieve shared prosperity for all instead of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. This means an increase in the Chinese people’s purchasing power and scope of market consumption.

Chinese foreign policy

The meeting discussed China’s foreign policy. H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin emphasized that in the face of the complicated international situation, China’s overall foreign policy remains unchanged, and China will continue to implement an independent foreign policy of peace and a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up; China will always be a builder of world peace, contribute to global development and defend international order. China will keep in mind the interests of the world, look at internationalism, and actively participate in global governance. Over the past ten years, President Xi Jinping has put forward several important initiatives and proposals, the Belt and Road Initiative, the shared values of humankind, the Global Development Initiative, and the Global Security Initiative. The main message of these initiatives is that countries are interdependent, humanity has a common future, and the international community must unite for cooperation.

This year, China’s diplomacy will be carried out in the following five aspects: follow the guidelines of diplomacy at the highest level, and defend China’s core interests. China opposes any form of hegemony and power politics, and Cold War mentality. It will build an extensive partnership relationship. The goal is openness and development. It will encourage high-quality development and openness to high standards. It will champion an open and inclusive world economy and create new opportunities for the world. It will move towards multilateralism. It will promote the building of a community with a future for all humanity, promote greater democracy in international relations, and make global governance more just and equitable. It will offer more, better Chinese insights and solutions to help solve humanity’s common challenges.

Relations between China and the EU

Relations between China and the EU were also discussed; Mr. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin stated: “China has always seen the European Union as a comprehensive strategic partner and supports European integration. We believe that our interactions are an independent choice of the two parties based entirely on our respective strategic interests. The relationship between China and the EU is neither directed against any third party nor subordinated to or controlled by any third party. Trade and investment between the EU and China continue to grow. According to Eurostat data, the trade volume between China and the EU reached 856.3 billion euros in 2022, with an increase of 22.8%. China is the second-largest trading partner of the EU, the largest source of imports, and the third-largest export market. In the future, it is important to maintain good relations between China and the EU.”

Relations between China and the USA

Mr. Qi Qianjin referred to the relations between China and the US and commented on the recent incident related to the drone. He emphasized that it was entirely an accident caused by force majeure. He stated that China does not pose a threat to the US and that China does not want to create problems. China is dedicated to promoting the healthy and stable development of relations with the US in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and mutually beneficial cooperation.

The Taiwan question

Mr. Qi Qianjin also touched on the issue of Taiwan: “Taiwan is part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China.” It is the inviolable duty of all Chinese, including our compatriots in Taiwan, to carry out the great task of reunifying the motherland. This is our position on the Taiwan issue. Solving the Taiwan issue is a matter for the Chinese people, and no other country has the right to interfere.”

The war in Ukraine

The crisis and the war in Ukraine were also discussed. China’s Position on the Political Resolution of the Ukraine Crisis was recently published, which comprehensively and systematically explains China’s position and proposals on the Ukraine crisis, which can be summed up in one sentence: to promote peace and negotiations.

The ambassador emphasized that China firmly rejects the use or threat of nuclear weapons, advocates that nuclear weapons should not be used, and that nuclear wars should not be fought. Last week, China donated 200,000 euros to Ukraine’s nuclear safety technical assistance project through the International Atomic Energy Agency, supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to strengthen the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities through practical action.

Chinese-Croatian relations

Since establishing diplomatic relations between China and Croatia 30 years ago, China has always considered Croatia a good friend and partner. The two sides have always respected each other, setting a good example of friendly cooperation between countries with different populations and social systems.

Economic and trade cooperation flourished. Last year, the trade volume between China and Croatia reached 2.42 billion US dollars, increasing more than 60 times in just 30 years. The Peljesac Bridge, a project of trilateral cooperation between China, Croatia, and the EU, opened to traffic as scheduled last year, becoming a symbol of friendship between the two nations. H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin pointed out: “Since I arrived in Croatia a year and a half ago, Croatian friends from all walks of life have been full of praise, stressing that the bridge has helped Croatia achieve its long-awaited desire to connect the north and south of the country, strongly promoted local economic and social development, embodied China’s speed and showed a good image of Chinese companies. Croatian government officials aptly call it the brightest pearl in the crown of Sino-Croatian relations.”

The Senj wind farm, built by Chinese companies, annually provides about 530 million KWH of clean electricity for Croatia, helping the country achieve a green energy transformation and better cope with the current energy crisis. Chinese companies like Huawei and Xiaomi are dedicated to providing more high-quality products and services for Croatia. At the same time, high-quality agricultural products from Croatia, such as wine, olive oil, and truffles have been put on the tables of Chinese families. In the future, more high-quality food will enter the Chinese market, which is one of the priorities of the Chinese embassy, as well as work to strengthen mutual deepening and friendship between the two sides.

H. E. Mr. Qi Qianjin emphasized: “Croatia will be officially included in the list of the second series of group trips by Chinese citizens from tomorrow, and we believe that the number of Chinese tourists will recover this year or even exceed the number from 2019. In the future, we will constantly strive to strengthen the exchange and cooperation between the two countries at all levels and in all kinds of areas and to deepen the friendship between the two peoples. In particular, by hosting the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, we will use the potential for deepening cooperation and advancing practical cooperation in infrastructure, green energy, digitization, and agriculture as an opportunity. We also hope that our Croatian friends will take the opportunity and make good use of the benefits of China’s rapid economic recovery and its large middle-class market of over 400 million people

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.


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