I am delighted to be here this evening to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the People’s Republic of China.
At the outset, let me say that this festive day provides an occasion to pay, yet again, tribute to the strong bonds of friendship that exist between the peoples of Cyprus and China.
China and Cyprus have been trusted friends and partners for decades. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1971, our two countries have established a cordial and dynamic relationship that managed to withstand the major changes of international order and has been constantly evolving to the mutual benefit of our two peoples.
Cyprus considers China as an important and true friend, and together we are committed to facilitating cooperation in the political, social and economic and trade fields. Our strong bilateral ties are based on the common values that Cyprus and China share, on the mutual understanding we have developed on various regional and international issues, as well as on the close cooperation we have established in an array of areas.
My visit to China in October 2015, where I had very productive discussions with President Xi Jinping, and the visit to Cyprus in December of the same year by the Chinese Foreign Minister, Mr Wang Yi, have both provided a new momentum to exploring new fields of cooperation, in particular economic cooperation.
Cyprus has its doors open to Chinese companies eager to invest and develop their operations and offers very attractive benefits and opportunities for Chinese companies to establish their activities and production units in Cyprus.
To this end, tangible opportunities exist for Chinese investors in a variety of economic sectors, such as shipping, marinas, golf courses, medical and health centres, the tourism and hospitality industry, education and the energy sector.
In the last century China has succeeded to evolving into one of the world’s largest economies and has become a global player. Today, the “One Road, One Belt” initiative is a prime example of China’s role as a major player in global governance, aiming to promote regional economic cooperation, connecting East Asia and Europe, strengthening exchanges and mutual understanding between different civilizations, and also promoting world peace and development.
In this capacity, Cyprus can be an active player in promoting the values of the Silk Road Initiative. As a member of the European Union and an international maritime power, Cyprus stands ready to cooperate closely with our Chinese, Asian and European partners in effectively supporting this initiative and especially in successfully promoting the aims and values of the Silk Maritime Road as a key transit island of the Silk Road Maritime Trade Routes.
While our country is currently at a critical juncture in the negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, I take this opportunity tonight, Mr Ambassador, to thank once more the Chinese Government for its long-standing support in the efforts to achieve a comprehensive and viable settlement to the Cyprus problem, based on the UN Security Council resolutions and the EU values and principles.
A solution that will reunite our country, restore and fully respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all its lawful citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, without the presence of any military troops and anachronistic guarantees by any country.
On December 1st, as you all know, in order to preserve the momentum of the negotiation process and in order to establish that negotiations would continue from the point they were left off, in Mont PAlerin, it was agreed that an intensive and substantive discussion on all pending issues will take place and the Turkish Cypriot side has committed itself to submit a map on the issue of Territory on 11th of January in Geneva.
Progress on the above issues will allow us to come within reach of an agreement by creating the conditions and prospects for a successful conclusion during the discussion of the fundamental issue of security and guarantees in a multilateral Conference, on 12th of January, in Geneva, to be convened with the added participation of the guarantor powers, as well as other relevant parties as needed.
To this end, we do believe that -considering the international dimension of the issue to be discussed, including the ways and means of ensuring the smooth, safe and speedy implementation of the settlement to be reached-, the Permanent Members of the Security Council should be present at the Conference.
In this respect, we do count on People’s Republic of China presence and support at the said Conference.
The 45 years history since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and China is also the history of people-to-people exchanges and contacts; a history of successful coordination and cooperation in bilateral and multilateral level by our two countries; a history of Cypriot and Chinese enterprises promoting business relations.
The genuine friendship between Cyprus and China has withstood the test of time, with resounding success and tangible results. As we celebrate the 45 years of our cooperation, we look to the future with hope and many aspirations.
I ask you all to raise your glasses with me and to drink to the health and prosperity of both the peoples of Cyprus and China, in honor of the anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations.
May the cooperation between our two countries always be renewed by our friendship and mutual respect.
Source: Press and Information Office