21 March 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”, H.E. Fu Ying 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 had accepted its 12th Five Year Plan for economic development. The main priority of the plan was to increase the social situation of the population, so that everyone could benefit from the reforms. The new plan was in unison with the European Union’s “Europe 2020” strategy and its purpose was 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 that moment, there was an initiative being implemented in China for the improvement of people’s economic situation by emphasizing on providing homes, the prices of which were too high. By using macroeconomic tools, the government was hoping to expand domestic demand and to contribute to international exchange. In addition, these measures encouraged infrastructural development and tourism and, last but not least, focused on the problem of environmental pollution.
The recent natural disasters, which hit Japan, were a cause for concern for China. The nuclear crisis created an urgent necessity for revision of the Chinese energy strategy, which was the reason why a project for the building of a new nuclear power plant was temporary put on hold.
As far as the situation in Libya was 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 the one hand, China was against the use of force in international relations and, on the other hand, it did not want to fully block the chance to bring peace in this turbulent state.
H.E. Fu Ying stated that the bilateral relations between China and the USA were fundamental and cooperation between the two countries was important for everyone and confrontation should turn into a consensus.
In her speech, H.E. Fu Ying maintained that Bulgaria was a valuable trade partner for China. One area in which the two countries could find a mutual benefit was tourism, since the Vice Foreign Minister expected 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 could be seen as an attractive tourist destination.