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Ambassador Gui Congyou Gives Interview with Sveriges Radio

On 31 May, Ambassador Gui Congyou gave an interview at Sveriges Radio (SR) and answered questions raised by program leader of Konflikt (Conflict) Ivar Ekman. Following is the key points:

Since taking office, I have positively had extensive contact and communication with Swedish friends. As ambassador, my most important mission is to engage with my Swedish friends from all walks of life, promote friendship and mutual understanding between our two countries, and serve as a bridge between our two peoples. On 9 May 1950, Sweden became the first western country to establish diplomatic relations with China. It was also among the first in the West to conduct intergovernmental cooperation with China in fields such as economy, trade, science and technology. The Chinese people have sincere friendship towards the Swedish people. Please convey my cordial greetings to SR's audience. I also hope to, through SR, convey Chinese people's friendliness towards the Swedish people and their sincere aspiration for closer cooperation between our two countries.

Sweden became the first country in the world to propose the concept of sustainable development in 1972, and is a world leader in innovation, green development, environmental protection and other fields. Meanwhile, at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping proposed that China would transfer its development model and pursue the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, and open development that is for everyone. Therefore, the development concepts of our two countries are highly compatible. Add to this the solid foundation for friendly bilateral cooperation and we can say our two countries enjoy broad prospects for strengthening cooperation in various fields. Of course, in order to expand cooperation in various fields, it is very important to further enhance mutual knowledge and understanding between our two countries and two peoples. Our face-to-face communication today is exactly the most straightforward and effective way to enhance mutual knowledge and understanding between our two peoples. I believe today's conversation will build a bridge between the audience of SR and myself. And if the audience would like to talk directly with me after this interview is broadcast, I will be glad to receive them.

There are nearly 200 countries in the world whose political systems and ideologies are different one way or another. The practice of international relations has proved that countries transcending differences in political systems and ideologies to conduct friendly exchanges and cooperation in various areas is conducive to enhancing mutual understanding and cooperation, and ultimately, to world harmony. Sweden has its own social and political systems and development model; China also has social and political systems and development model that suit its own characteristics. It's totally possible for the two sides to exchange experience in governing the country and developing the economy and to learn from each other. With their highly compatible development concepts, China and Sweden can learn from each other in socio-economic development and deepen cooperation in areas of mutual interest, which will facilitate the socio-economic development within the two countries and continuously improve the standard of living and quality of life of the two peoples.

Both China and Sweden are peace-loving countries that oppose war and the use of force or the threat of using force in international relations. Both China and Sweden have made important contributions to the international peacekeeping cause. Our two countries can carry out in-depth cooperation in safeguarding world peace and promoting political solutions to international and regional hotspot issues.

China is a close neighbour of the Korean Peninsula as well as an important stakeholder in the Peninsula nuclear issue. China is more concerned than any other countries in the world with the peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. China has long been firmly committed to upholding peace and stability on the Peninsula, realizing denuclearization of the Peninsula, and resolving the issue through political and diplomatic means. We are very glad to see a crucial turnaround in the recent situation on the Peninsula, which is the result of China's long-term unremitting efforts. Over the years, the Swedish Government has also been promoting peace talks in an effort to peacefully resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. The ease of tension today on the Peninsula is also partly credited to the Swedish side. But to ultimately resolve the nuclear issue requires greater positive efforts from all parties involved. The Swedish side has the ability to continue to play a constructive role. In fact, China has always maintained close communication with the Swedish side on the peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. We hope to work together with the relevant parties, including Sweden, to play a greater role in the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. But the DPRK people's choices should be respected as to the development path of their country.

The fast-developing high-speed rail is described as a "new invention" of China. It is also an important contribution of China to world development. I know that Sweden is also discussing building high-speed rail. Many Swedish friends have mentioned this to me. My response is very simple. As long as there is a need from the Swedish side, China is willing to provide all possible assistance in terms of technology, funding, construction, etc. Some Swedish people have proposed to build a high-speed railway from Stockholm to Oslo. The local government in Western Sweden and the Norwegian side have invited relevant Chinese companies to participate in the discussion. But the Swedish Government of Sweden has not submitted formal cooperation proposals to China.

Speaking of the movie Wolf Warrior Ⅱ. As you know, with the development of globalization and the expansion of China's exchanges and cooperation with other countries, more and more Chinese citizens go abroad for travel or practical cooperation. This has contributed to the economic and social development of other countries as well as China's friendly cooperation with them, and is warmly welcomed by local governments and people. However, unfortunately, there are still truculence and conflicts in some parts of the world for various reasons, and Chinese citizens in those areas are also affected. The Chinese Government is firmly committed to safeguarding the personal and property safety of overseas Chinese citizens, just as every government in the world is obliged to do. In reality, there have been many cases where the Chinese Government has done its best to carry home Chinese citizens whose personal and property safety are at risk. The movie Wolf Warrior Ⅱ, which is based on the above-mentioned facts, reflects the heroic deeds of a former Chinese soldier who helped the Chinese Government to evacuate overseas Chinese citizens. Personally, I cannot see any indication in this movie that China is trying to exert influence across the world.

The discussion about acquisition between Wanda Group and the Swedish Nordic Cinema Group was purely commercial. The Chinese Government supports domestic enterprises to cooperate with overseas companies for win-win outcomes. However, such cooperation must conform to the Chinese Government's industrial policies and direction for China's industrial cooperation with relevant countries. Chinese enterprises' acquiring real estate properties, hotels, entertainment facilities, and sports clubs overseas is not compliant with the Chinese Government's industrial polices. According to my information, Wanda Group has already given up the acquisition of the Nordic Cinema Group.

With the rapid development of China's economy, more and more foreign friends, especially young students, want to learn Chinese, go to China, and conduct friendly exchanges and cooperation with China. Foreign friends generally feel that Chinese is the most difficult language to learn in the world. That's why Confucius Institutes are established. The purpose is to help foreigners learn Chinese and understand Chinese history and culture. Hanban (the Confucius Institute Headquarters) cooperated with foreign institutions on the basis of fully respecting their own wishes to establish Confucius Institutes. Many countries established language learning and cultural exchange centers independently or cooperatively in China's colleges, which we looked at from a positive perspective. Confucius Institutes are Chinese language teaching organizations and should not be politicized.

As to the relationship between Taiwan and the World Health Assembly (WHA), actually there is none to talk about in the first place. Forty-seven years ago, the UN General Assembly established the one-China principle through a resolution, and recognized the government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate government representing the whole of China. On the basis of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) also passed a resolution to confirm the one-China principle. From 2009 to 2016, the Central Government of China agreed to allow its Taiwan region to sit in the WHA as an observer under the name "Chinese Taipei". It was because the then authorities in Taiwan acknowledged the one-China principle, providing the political basis for Taiwan to attend the WHA as an observer. However, the current authorities in Taiwan has pursued the separatist stance of "Taiwan independence" and refused to recognize the one-China principle. As a result, the political foundation for Taiwan region's participation in the WHA as an observer is no longer there. Naturally, Taiwan cannot participate in the WHA.

In the past, some foreign airlines referred to Taiwan as a "country", as did the Swedish Tax Agency, which we never accepted. Their practice does not comply with the one-China principle and does not conform to the UN General Assembly resolution. The Chinese Government has always been requesting foreign airlines, companies, and individuals to abide by the one-China principle established by the UN General Assembly and to correct the wrong practice of calling Taiwan a "country". Some companies have made corrections according to China's request. Some have not yet. We will continue to require them to do the right thing. It is hoped that they will make corrections as soon as possible and no longer do things to harm China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity. "Taiwan Independence" seriously violates the UN General Assembly resolution, violates the international consensus of the one-China principle, and seriously damages China's national sovereignty, security, and territorial integrity. It is a dead end, and will surely be denounced and punished by the 1.4 billion Chinese people, including the Taiwan people.

Some Swedish media and forces trample on human rights by presenting someone that has committed serious crimes in both China and Sweden as a "human rights fighter". If the Swedish side does this, it will undoubtedly cause serious harm to the friendly cooperation between our two countries as well as violate the rule of law. Everyone is equal before the law. China is a country ruled by law and pursues law- based governance in all fields. China strictly handles all cases in accordance with law and will not allow any interference in its judicial sovereignty.

We firmly oppose the very few people such as the Dalai Group that engage in anti-China separatist activities on the Swedish territory. It is hoped that some Swedish people will not provide space and shelter for them to use the Swedish territory to engage in anti-China separatist activities.

I only learned about the Lysekil port project from the Swedish media. We encourage Chinese companies to cooperate abroad in accordance with market principles and international rules, and such cooperation should be welcomed by both sides and for mutual benefits and win-win results. China is trying its best to create a favorable investment environment for foreign companies investing in China. It is hoped that the Swedish side can also provide Chinese companies willing to invest in Sweden with an enabling environment and convenient conditions in accordance with market principles.

China is a market economy and supports domestic and foreign enterprises to act according to market principles. We oppose individual countries using "national security" as the excuse to violate the principles of the market economy and to pursue trade protectionism. For individual countries that insist on violating the principles of the market economy and engaging in trade protectionism, we have no choice but to act in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.

The EU has attracted a great deal of Chinese investment which has promoted the economic and social development of its member countries. We also welcome foreign countries to invest in China. Over the past 40 years of reform and opening up, China's economy has developed rapidly and its people's living standards have been increasing, to which foreign capital has made important contributions. China has become the second largest economy in the world. We welcome foreign companies to invest in China to further contribute to China's economic development. President Xi Jinping emphasized that China will not close its door to the outside world, but will only become more and more open. Not long ago at the Boao Forum for Asia, President Xi Jinping announced a series of new major measures to further expand China's opening up to the outside world, including easing foreign equity restrictions in the financial industry and manufacturing industries such as automobile.

The Communist Party of China (CPC) is the ruling party and is at the core of China's leadership in socialist construction with Chinese characteristics. Many managers and employees of some state-owned enterprises and private companies are CPC members. What should CPC members do? First of all, they must abide by the party's discipline and the Chinese law, put the people first and perform as they should in their role as public servants, and not take advantage of their power to conduct corruption crimes. As for the specific operations of enterprises, both at home and abroad, the Chinese Government requires enterprises to act completely in accordance with market principles.

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