The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) International Investment and Trade Expo and the SCO Qingdao Forum on Local Economic and Trade Cooperation took place in Qingdao, Shandong Province, on April 26-28. During the events, Yuri Senko, Belarusian Ambassador to China, who was taking part in a dialogue session on cooperation between the two countries, spoke to Beijing Review reporter Tao Xing on related issues. This is an edited excerpt of the interview:
Beijing Review: What opportunities does the Belt and Road Initiative bring to both countries? And what is the current state of economic cooperation between China and Belarus?
Yuri Senko: Belarus was one of the first countries to join the Belt and Road Initiative. More importantly, we understand that this kind of cooperation brings economic development and other benefits to all participating countries, not just a few. It's collaboration for mutual benefit.
The China-Belarus Industrial Park is being developed under the framework of the initiative, which is the biggest cooperation project in the Eurasian region. Right now, 69 projects from 14 countries are in progress in the park.
Belarus is located at a junction of global logistics and trade networks. This geographical advantage puts us in a good position to promote the flow of trade between Belarus and China, and between Europe and Asia.
China's cooperation with Belarus covers a wide variety of industries, including traditional Chinese medicine and advanced medical technologies. Current and future collaborative projects are significant for the entire Eurasian region, not just Belarus.
China advocates the notion that all countries should work together to build a global community with a shared future. What do you think about this vision for international peace and development?
One tree does not make a forest and global challenges are best solved through cooperation, so I fully support this vision for common progress and prosperity. A prime example is the COVID-19 pandemic, during which collaboration has helped the global community to navigate through adversity.
If a country requires assistance, for example in the area of economic development, it must join hands with other countries. Human development depends on cooperation and, in general, it is difficult for any one country to do anything alone.
The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC). What message do you have for the CPC and for China?
The leadership of the CPC has been the backbone of China's continuous development over the past decades. The Party has been seeking new paths of development for the Chinese people. When the Party commits itself to a cause, for example eliminating poverty, it will make it despite many challenges.
China [is poised to] achieve one of its two centenary goals, namely becoming a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the time of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC in 2021. The CPC's position as the impetus behind China's development is beyond doubt. In appreciation of all it has accomplished for the people of China, I congratulate the CPC on its 100th anniversary, and give my best wishes to the Chinese people.
What do you expect of the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area in Qingdao?
Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the establishment of the demonstration area at the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Qingdao in 2018. We are enthusiastic about joining it.
The area demonstrates the importance of the SCO as a global organization. I believe its rapid development over this short time period will attract more countries to participate in the project to promote their economic development.
Copyedited by G.P. Wilson
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