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What can be expected from President Xi’s diplomatic tour?


Source: CGTN    Published: 2018-11-26

Chinese leader's state visits to Spain, Argentina, Panama and Portugal and attendance to the G20 summit will play a significant role in the international community, an expert told CGTN.

“As we know that world situation, especially the economic recovery, is facing challenges from different directions…. We can see that all these countries are so important not only in the regional community, but also in the international affairs,” said Liu Zhiqin, a senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies under Renmin University of China.

Spain will be Chinese President Xi Jinping's first stop. The state visit and meeting with Spanish King Felipe the sixth comes as China and Spain mark 45 years of their diplomatic ties. In fact, bilateral trade has increased in recent years. China is now Spain's largest trading partner outside the EU, while Spain is the sixth biggest trading partner of China within the EU.

Officials from both countries expect Xi's visit to enhance cooperation between the two countries. “China looks forward to having more high-quality products and services from Spain. Spain also hopes to gain Chinese experience in 5G technology, smart cities and other areas," according to Lyu Fan, China's Ambassador to Spain.

Manuela Carmena, mayor of Madrid, looks forward to enhancing bilateral cooperation in science and culture. “I think it is necessary for more Spanish people to speak Chinese and also more Chinese people to get to know the Spanish language and culture. I think this is very meaningful.”

Liu also highlighted the importance of China-Spain relation. “We know that Spain is famous in sport, culture and tourism. So for China, we have many opportunities to deepen cooperation with Spain. I have to say Spain plays a key role in the region. If we can have good relation with Spain, we can expand all these relations to other countries in neighboring,” he claimed.

Panama is on the route this time, which was described by Panama side as an "unprecedented visit". China and Panama established diplomatic relations just a year ago, while free trade talks are already in progress and 20 agreements are expected to be signed.

“Panama is a small country. China is a big country. If we could have good cooperation, then it can be an example of cooperation to the whole world – no matter big or small, we have equal, respectful and inclusive [attitude],” Liu noted.

Liu Zhiqin, a senior fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. 

Furthermore, all eyes will be on President Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump's meeting during the G20 summit. Liu hoped some “concrete” agreements could be reached between leaders of the two largest economies in the world.

“For instance, [we expected] the agreement on  cooperation and further negotiation to ease tensions between the two sides. Secondly, both sides should work harder to get a good result for both nations. Thirdly, all these misunderstandings of each other should be clarified. In this way, we can overcome all the obstacles in front of us and try to find the best solution.

“In China, we try our best and minimize the negative impact. But we have to tell the other part that the world is wonderland – we cannot expect only one kind of flower blooming. We need different, hundreds of beautiful flower. The flower of China should be welcomed and accepted by the U.S. and we welcome the flower of the U.S. to bloom,” added Liu.

The article is based on an interview with Liu Zhiqin, a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.

Key Words: China   G20   Spain   Liu Zhiqin  

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