“CHINA’S DEVELOPMENT, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES” Keynote speech by H.E. Fu Ying, Vice Foreign Minister to the People’s Republic of China

(March 21st 2011, Sheraton Hotel, Sofia)

On March 21st 2011 the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria organized a keynote speech by H.E. Fu Ying, Vice Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China. In her speech entitled “China’s Development, Challenges and Opportunities” she talked about issues concerning China’s domestic politics and outlined the main points in the foreign affairs of the biggest socialist nation in the world. Before a large audience, the Vice Foreign Minister talked about the economic situation in China, the relations between China and the United States, China’s position regarding the war in Libya and much more.

On first place H.E. Fu Ying said that China has accepted its 12th Five Year Plan for economic development. The main priority of the plan is to increase the social situation of the population so that everyone can benefit from the reforms. The new plan is in unison with the European Union’s “Europe 2020” strategy and its purpose is to contribute to a long term improvement of the trade relations between China and the EU, as well as to boost investments, technical cooperation and opportunities for the development of tourism. At the moment there is an initiative being implemented in China for the improvement of the people’s economic situation by emphasizing on providing homes, the prices of which are too high. By using macroeconomic tools the government is hoping to expand domestic demand and to contribute to the international exchange. In addition, these measures encourage infrastructural development and tourism and, last but not least, there is a focus on the problem of environmental pollution.

The recent natural disasters, which hit Japan, are a cause for concern for China. The nuclear crisis created an urgent necessity for a revision to the Chinese energy strategy, which is the reason why a project for building of new nuclear power plants was temporary put on hold.
As far as the situation in Libya is concerned, China expressed serious reservations regarding the UN Security Council resolution for a no-fly zone in the country. The Vice Foreign Minister called China’s position a balanced approach since on one hand China is against the use of force in international relations and on the other hand it doesn’t want to fully block the chance to bring peace in this turbulent state.

H.E. Fu Ying said that the bilateral relations between China and the USA are fundamental and cooperation between the two countries is important for everyone and confrontation should turn into consensus.

In her speech H.E. Fu Ying said that Bulgaria is a valuable trade partner for China. One area in which both countries could find a mutual benefit is tourism since the Vice Foreign Minister expects the number of Chinese tourists to grow from 60 to 100 million people. She described Bulgaria as a “peaceful country” and recommended to pay more attention to its marketing so that Bulgaria can be seen as an attractive tourist destination.