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Remarks by H.E. Mr. Zhao Lijian at the Iftar 2019
2019/05/30

Welcome to Iftar 2019 by Chinese Embassy. As Ambassador Yao is visiting Gwadar. He could not host you today. He asked me to convey his greeting to all of you. I would like to thank all of you for your support for the Embassy and China Pakistan relationship. You have been writing books & articles about China, producing programs about China. Your efforts have contributed tremendously to China Pakistan friendship.

It has two parts. First is about Vice President Wang’s visit to Pakistan. second is about China US trade friction in the recent days.

I. Vice president Wang visited to Pakistan for three days. it was a very successful visit. during the visit he met the president, prime minister. His visit was meant to send a strong message to international community, that is China Pakistan relationship is an exceptional one. They agreed to work on SEZ, agriculture, social sector, etc.

He attended Friends of Silk Road Forum. Many of you present today also attended the Forum. Some friends complained that there was no press briefing during the visit, I would like to take the opportunity today to give you more information about the visit and answer your questions.

Pakistan & China signed 5 MOUs: Chinese grants of ¥1billion for social sector, ¥40million for disaster relief, Framework Agreement in Agriculture, Agreement on MFD (Mouth Foot Disease) & MOU b/t CMEC, Balochistan Govt& Lasbella University.

CMEC: 1. Animal husbandry research center in Uthal, Balochistan. 2000 acres. 2. Agriculture plantation model farm. 1200 acres.

4 projects were inaugurated, including 660 KV HVDC Transmission Project from Matiari to Lahore, Rashakai Special Economic Zone Project, Huawei Technical Support Centre and Confucius Institute at University of Punjab.

Transmission line: Boot mode, total investment is $1.658b. 886km long. Transmission capacity 4000WM. Up to 7000 jobs. 27 months. COD March 2021.

Rashakai: CRBC 3 roadshows in China 1 in Pakistan. 120 MOUs. 1000 acres. Construction materials, storages, food processing, textiles & garments.

Huawei center: 12 countries. Mobile Network, 5G, big data, smart city, internet of things, cloud computing. 600 engineers, 96%.

There is a saying in Pakistan if you want to know more about Pakistan, you have to touch the pulse of Lahore. Without visiting Lahore, you never visited true Pakistan. So He visited Lahore. This is the first high level visit to Lahore by a Chinese leader. He had good meetings with governor & Chief Minister. He also visited haier ruba SEZ. VP Wang is a student of history. He is very interested in the gandhara art & Mogul history. He visited Taxila museum & Jaulian site. He also visited Lahore fort, badashahi mosque.

II. China US relationship

Since the 2008 the United States unilaterally initiated the trade friction with China, attempting to force China to make significant compromises or concessions. this is only to serve 2 purposes: one is domestic politics namely the next US election, and number two is to contain China’s economic development.

There are concerns over an escalated trade war harming the world economy as well as claims that China is "backtracking" and "breaking promises".

US attempted to achieve unreasonable demands through maximum pressure. This wouldn't work from very beginning. When its threats didn't work &led to widespread doubts &market fluctuations at home &abroad, US resorted to muddying the waters & shifting the blame.

So what is really happening with China-US trade talks and where are they heading?

First, there has been no change of position as far as China is concerned. China addresses differences through dialogue and consultation, because this is in the interests of not only China and the US but also the international community. In the face of the US threats to raise tariffs, China still sent a high-level delegation to the US for talks as agreed, out of consideration for the bigger picture and showing sincerity and goodwill.

At the same time, China takes a firm stance on safeguarding its legitimate interests. As differences emerge in any negotiations, twists and turns are inevitable, but the two sides should respect each other, treat each other as equals and strive for a mutually-beneficial deal. It is obvious that some promises are broken, not by China but by those brandishing the baton of tariffs against China. China does not want a "trade war" but it is not afraid of one and would fight one if necessary. Chinese Foreign Minister: China will not accept it if US builds trade negotiations on an unfair basis. Any unfair deal will not be reached. If US is willing to negotiate, the door of negotiations will open wide. If US resorts to maximum pressure, China will fight to the end. The recent announcement on countermeasures is proof that China is fully prepared.

Secondly, China has always believed in responsibility and cooperation as a way to resolve differences in negotiations. Raising tariffs and taking unilateral measures only harms the interests of the people and businesses of the two countries. A sound and stable economic partnership between the US and China is important for not only the two countries but also the world economy. Therefore, what a responsible big country should do is to stop thinking about "America First" at the expense of others. China will continue working with the US to ensure the steady and sound development of their economic partnership.

Thirdly, protectionism is the common enemy of the world. The trade friction between China and the US is a question of openness and connectivity versus exclusion and protectionism. China has followed the ideals of the former. At last month's second Belt and Road Forum for international cooperation, China announced five key measures that will not pose a challenge or a threat but create more opportunities for the world.

The real troublemakers in the global economy are those who rely on their superior power and frequently resort to the threat of raising tariffs, and who trigger "trade wars" at will, even against their allies, without hesitation.

Fourthly, Secretary Pompeo said Huawei is deeply tied to Communist Party of China, which puts US information at risk. There’s no evidence for that. My recent tweets on Huawei was very popular. It received 36000 likes and 16000 retweets. Most of them are from you, from Pakistan.

According to NYT, the US has started a technological Cold War with China.

The cases of PRISM program & Alstom vividly tell that even similar ideologies do not prevent US from taking unjustifiable measures against its allies. Secretary Pompeo who has been trying to mislead the public by willful lies,is now attempting to incite an ideological conflict. This is totally illogical. Ideological differences do not necessarily obstruct economic, trade, industrial, technological cooperation. US government, either Democrats or Republicans, has been all along working with CPC-led Chinese government in advancing, expanding & deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, which has brought tangible benefits to business sector &consumers.

When US used administrative means directly to crack down on commercial competitors like Huawei, the idea of openness & free trade, which US has always admired, has become a big joke. It turns out that these principles will only be used when they are beneficial to US.

Last but not the least, the reason why the consultations failed is obvious, the responsibility is totally on the US side. china has a history of 5000 years which is always with tribulations and glory. there is no smooth way for China to go through the process from standing up on our own feet in 1949, to getting rich now & to getting stronger in the days to come. With the support of 1.4 billion people, strong advantage of political system & CPC leadership, we are coolheaded and somber minded enough to deal with US. We have enough determination and responsibility. We have enough confidence and capability to deal with the challenges. For China, this storm is nothing, more like a storm in the teacup. Time, historical trend & justice are all on the Chinese side.

As a Chinese saying goes, "A just cause enjoys abundant support while an unjust one finds little support." The self-claimed supremacy practice of the US side will gain no acknowledgement or support in the international community. Chinese efforts not only aim to protect its own legitimate & lawful interests, but also to safeguard norms governing international relations & free trade regime. China gained extensive acknowledgement & support from the international community.

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