2018 in con­sular re­view: achieve­ments and plans

Global Times asks Shang­hai con­suls gen­eral about their ac­com­plish­ments over the past 12 months and what they hope for the fu­ture. Here are the first eight.

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - CITY PANORAMA - Page Ed­i­tor: chen­[email protected]­al­times.com.cn

It is great honor for me to have been posted as CG in Shang­hai dur­ing such a spe­cial year for China and Ar­gentina. We par­tic­i­pated in the suc­cess­ful first China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo with more than 30 com­pa­nies and launched the first Lo­gis­tic Hub of Ar­gen­tine prod­ucts in Shang­hai, demon­strat­ing the aim of ex­pand­ing our ex­ports and en­sur­ing the avail­abil­ity of Ar­gen­tine prod­ucts in the Chi­nese mar­kets.

Fur­ther­more, this year Buenos Aires held the G20 Sum­mit and, on that oc­ca­sion, we had the honor of re­ceiv­ing Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in an of­fi­cial visit to our coun­try. Ar­gentina and China are com­mit­ted to deep­en­ing the “In­te­gral Strate­gic Part­ner­ship” through the sig­na­ture of a 2019-2023 Joint Ac­tion Plan as well as over 30 agree­ments in mul­ti­ple ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion.

Through our con­sulate we have been work­ing hard to re­in­force our friend­ship and ties through the pro­mo­tion of tourism, cul­ture, sports and ed­u­ca­tion. We opened the Tango School Car­los Gardel in Shang­hai which is at­tract­ing many Chi­nese to our na­tional dance and mu­sic. We trav­eled around to sev­eral uni­ver­si­ties in dif­fer­ent prov­inces to in­tro­duce the CELU Span­ish Exam and our na­tional ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem to en­cour­age stu­dents to study in Ar­gentina.

And we have been hold­ing tourism sem­i­nars through­out the year to in­spire the Chi­nese to visit our coun­try – which def­i­nitely re­sulted in a rise in tourism. We also launched an Ar­gen­tine cul­tural space to pro­mote our cul­ture and share our cus­toms with Chi­nese friends. You might think our coun­tries are far and dis­tant from each other, but be­lieve me, we have so many things in com­mon. We will con­tinue work­ing in 2019 to­ward the strength­en­ing of our mu­tual friend­ship. In 2018, Fiji’s suc­cess­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion at the in­au­gu­ral China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE) was a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment. Fiji’s par­tic­i­pa­tion at CIIE gave our ex­porters an im­por­tant plat­form to pro­mote Fi­jian goods and ser­vices in China.

Fi­jian prod­ucts such as Fiji Beer and Noni Tea made their de­but and suc­cess­fully en­tered the Chi­nese mar­ket in 2018.

To­gether with the avail­abil­ity of other well-known brands like Fiji Wa­ter and Pure Fiji, Chi­nese con­sumers are in­creas­ingly aware of premium Fi­jian prod­ucts. We hope more Fi­jian ex­porters will par­tic­i­pate in the sec­ond CIIE in 2019.

Tourism is Fiji’s ma­jor ex­port, with China an im­por­tant emerg­ing mar­ket for our tourism in­dus­try. In 2018, Tourism Fiji and Fiji Air­ways set up of­fices in China to pro­mote Fiji as a de­sir­able and happy hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

Chi­nese cit­i­zens need no visas to travel to Fiji and there are five flights weekly fly­ing di­rectly from Hong Kong to Fiji.

To ac­com­mo­date the in­creas­ing de­mand for flight ca­pac­ity dur­ing the up­com­ing Spring Fes­ti­val, four char­ter flights will be com­mis­sioned to carry hun­dreds of Chi­nese tourists.

Build­ing on the achieve­ments of 2018, we en­ter the new year with op­ti­mism that it will be an­other re­ward­ing year for China as it cel­e­brates the 70th an­niver­sary of the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China.

It is also the year that marks the 20th an­niver­sary of the re­turn of Ma­cao to China. For Fiji and the Pa­cific, we will be cel­e­brat­ing the China-Pa­cific Year of Tourism with many events and ac­tiv­i­ties across China.

I wish to take this op­por­tu­nity to ex­press my warm new year greet­ings to all the read­ers of the Global Times. Rus­sian-Chi­nese re­la­tions steadily de­vel­oped dur­ing the past year. This was greatly fa­cil­i­tated by the ef­fec­tive work of the mul­ti­level mech­a­nism of trust­based po­lit­i­cal con­tacts be­tween Rus­sia and China, which in­cludes mul­ti­ple meet­ings of lead­ers of two coun­tries and an­nual reg­u­lar meet­ings be­tween Chi­nese pre­mier and Rus­sian prime min­is­ter, which pre­ceded by meet­ings of five sec­toral in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal com­mis­sions at the level of deputy prime min­is­ters.

For the eighth con­sec­u­tive year, China re­mains Rus­sia’s big­gest trad­ing part­ner. Bi­lat­eral trade vol­ume will cross the mark of $100 bil­lion. En­ergy is the pri­or­ity of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween our coun­tries. Oil sup­plies to China via the transna­tional pipe­line are sta­ble. De­liv­er­ies of liq­ue­fied gas from fields on the Rus­sian Arc­tic shelf also be­gan this year, in the ex­ploit­ing of which China is in­volved in in­vest­ments. Next year, nat­u­ral gas pipe­line de­liv­er­ies from our coun­try to China will be­gin. Agree­ments also have been reached to ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion in the field of nu­clear en­ergy.

Joint projects in air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ing and space are con­tin­u­ing suc­cess­fully, and co­op­er­a­tion in the field of agri­cul­ture has also be­come closer. The num­ber of tourists from China vis­it­ing Rus­sia has in­creased, and the scale of stu­dent ex­changes has ex­panded as well.

Our coun­tries are closely united by com­mon ap­proaches to the global re­gional prob­lems of our times, unity of views on the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of the world or­der and in­ter­state re­la­tions, up­hold­ing com­mon sense and prag­ma­tism. I sin­cerely wish the read­ers of your news­pa­per a happy New Year and Christ­mas! We will be glad to see more for­eign friends in Rus­sia in the com­ing year. In 2018, we cel­e­brated the 40th an­niver­sary of the con­clu­sion of the Ja­panChina Treaty of Peace and Friend­ship and also the 40th an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing-up. The Ja­pan-China re­la­tions reached the Year of Buhuo. “At 40 years old, I be­came able to en­gage in my own study un­doubt­edly,” as Con­fu­cius said.

Both Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang and Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe re­al­ized of­fi­cial vis­its in May and in Oc­to­ber re­spec­tively.

In ad­di­tion, the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo was held in Shang­hai in Novem­ber, dur­ing which 468 Ja­panese com­pa­nies and or­ga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pated with around 20,000 square me­ters oc­cu­pied. These two num­bers were the big­gest among the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries.

When Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe vis­ited China in Oc­to­ber 2018, both coun­tries de­cided to des­ig­nate 2019 as a “Ja­pan-China Youth Ex­change Pro­mo­tion Year” and set up a tar­get to re­al­ize 30,000 youth ex­changes in five years. In this con­nec­tion, the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment has fur­ther in­tro­duced a sim­ple visa pro­ce­dure for Chi­nese univer­sity stu­dents.

I re­ceived in­struc­tions by the head­quar­ters of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs of Ja­pan to leave Shang­hai on Jan­uary 4.

On this oc­ca­sion, I would like to ex­press my sin­cere grat­i­tude to all of you for your strong sup­port and warm hos­pi­tal­ity that you ex­tended to me and our con­sulate-gen­eral dur­ing my stay here.

My work and life here would not have been so smooth and pleas­ant with­out your help.

I hope that you will also ex­tend your warm hos­pi­tal­ity in the same man­ner to my suc­ces­sor, Mr Akio Iso­mata. Thank you very much again.

I would like to high­light the visit of Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping to the UAE in July of 2018, the first by a Chi­nese head of state in 29 years to the UAE. Xi’s plane was es­corted by 12 UAE fighter jets. Upon their ar­rival, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were warmly re­ceived by His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hamed Bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Vice Pres­i­dent, Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Com­man­der of the Armed Forces of the UAE.

Since the es­tab­lish­ment of our diplo­matic re­la­tions, China and the UAE have al­ways treated each other as equals, with bi­lat­eral ties see­ing re­mark­able progress and fruit­ful prag­matic co­op­er­a­tion achieved in var­i­ous fields.

The UAE is the first coun­try Xi vis­ited since af­ter re-elec­tion as Pres­i­dent of China. This shows that China at­taches great im­por­tance to its re­la­tion­ship with the UAE.

I also would like to high­light the visit of Chi­nese Vice Pres­i­dent Wang Qis­han to the UAE in Oc­to­ber of 2018, dur­ing which the two coun­tries es­tab­lished a com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship.

The UAE would like to con­grat­u­late China on the 40th an­niver­sary of its re­form and open­ing-up, which has achieved huge suc­cess and brought about tremen­dous changes to the coun­try.

China has emerged as the fastest­grow­ing source mar­ket for UAE tourism. In 2017, the num­ber of Chi­nese tourists to the UAE ex­ceeded 1 mil­lion. In 2019, the UAE will wel­come even more Chi­nese tourists, as the two coun­tries have adopted a visa-free pol­icy for each other. Shang­hai never ceases to amaze. Although I started my post­ing in Septem­ber, I was lucky enough to be a fre­quent vis­i­tor for the past six years, wit­ness­ing fast growth, fas­ci­nat­ing changes and im­prove­ments in all ar­eas of life.

The most im­por­tant event this year in Shang­hai was the first China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo, which gave us a new plat­form to deepen in­ter­na­tional busi­ness co­op­er­a­tion for shared pros­per­ity and progress.

For all Slove­nian par­tic­i­pants and me per­son­ally, the event was ex­tremely use­ful, most pleas­ant and a re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

For Slove­nia and China, 2018 marked an­other year of strength­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion in all ar­eas. Bi­lat­eral trade and in­vest­ments dou­bled in the past decade, co­op­er­a­tion in cul­ture, sports, tourism and other peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes are on the rise. The Slove­nian stu­dent com­mu­nity in Shang­hai is one of the largest out­side the EU.

Our ju­ris­dic­tional area cov­ers Shang­hai and the sur­round­ing prov­inces of Jiangsu, Zhe­jiang and An­hui, where most Slove­nian busi­ness and in­vest­ments in China are lo­cated.

Shang­hai as the cen­ter of the Yangtze River Delta Eco­nomic Re­gion has an even more sig­nif­i­cant role in the deep­en­ing of po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic re­la­tions and con­tacts be­tween our cit­i­zens.

This year, the Con­sulate of the Repub­lic of Slove­nia in Shang­hai was in­volved in or­ga­niz­ing sev­eral busi­ness and cul­tural events. One of the most im­por­tant ar­eas of co­op­er­a­tion be­came sports, es­pe­cially win­ter sports, where more and more Slove­nian ath­letes and ex­perts are shar­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences with Chi­nese col­leagues.

Next year we will con­tinue to deepen our re­la­tions and co­op­er­a­tion. The date of Novem­ber 5, 2018, is mean­ing­fully re­mem­bered as the open­ing day of the his­toric China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE), all the more so for me be­cause I, on that day, made my de­but as Con­sul Gen­eral of the Repub­lic of Ko­rea to Shang­hai. CIIE im­pres­sively demon­strated China’s will­ing­ness for fur­ther open­ing-up, which bodes well for the world econ­omy, with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of 273 South Korean com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Sam­sung, Hyundai, SK and many oth­ers. South Ko­rea ranked sec­ond in par­tic­i­pant com­pa­nies.

Shang­hai, the most in­ter­na­tional and eco­nom­i­cally de­vel­oped city in China, has been at the very core of the eco­nomic and cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and South Ko­rea; cur­rently about 85,000 Kore­ans and 2,300 Korean en­ter­prises are liv­ing and thriv­ing in Shang­hai.

I hope that Shang­hai con­tin­ues to lead China’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and en­vi­ron­ment pro­tec­tion in 2019. I ex­pect that Korean en­ter­prises will also be able to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in these ef­forts, which can un­doubt­edly ben­e­fit Chi­nese and Kore­ans in Shang­hai alike.

Equally, Shang­hai has a spe­cial place in the hearts of Korean peo­ple, as the his­toric build­ing of the Pro­vi­sional Gov­ern­ment of Ko­rea (KPG; Korean gov­ern­ment-in-ex­ile dur­ing the Ja­panese colo­nial rule of Ko­rea) is lo­cated at Xin­tiandi, the heart of Old Shang­hai.

For 2019, the Repub­lic of Ko­rea is plan­ning to cel­e­brate the 100th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of the KPG in Shang­hai; nat­u­rally, many Kore­ans will visit Shang­hai to see this his­toric build­ing and come to know the his­tory of friend­ship be­tween South Ko­rea and China dat­ing back 100 years. 2018 was a year marked by many high­lights in the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Ire­land and China. In Feb­ru­ary, Ire­land’s cap­i­tal city of Dublin and our sec­ond city Cork, twinned with Shang­hai, cel­e­brated Chi­nese New Year with fes­ti­vals and the light­ing of sig­nif­i­cant pub­lic build­ings.

In March, Ire­land’s Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Si­mon Coveney met with se­nior Shang­hai gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives and at­tended the an­nual St Pa­trick’s Day fes­ti­val.

We also had other min­is­ters vis­it­ing through­out the year, in­clud­ing for the China In­ter­na­tional Im­port Expo (CIIE). Many Chi­nese del­e­ga­tions also trav­eled to Ire­land for very fruit­ful po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, cul­tural and ed­u­ca­tional dis­cus­sions.

Blooms­day on June 16 was an­other great high­light as we took a boat on the Huangpu River to cel­e­brate to­gether with our Shang­hainese friends one of the 20th cen­tury’s finest nov­els,

Ulysses by James Joyce. The Ir­ish com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents, con­tin­ues to pros­per in Shang­hai and sur­round­ing re­gions.

Per­son­ally, 2018 was a very good year as we or­ga­nized an ex­tremely busy but pro­duc­tive se­ries of events and vis­its. When pos­si­ble, I en­joy won­der­ful walks along the Huangpu River and ex­plore the rich ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage of Shang­hai.

From my per­spec­tive, the more per­sonal con­nec­tions we make, the greater un­der­stand­ing we have. In an ever-more tur­bu­lent world, the most im­por­tant thing for us is to un­der­stand our neigh­bors.

I wish all read­ers a very happy and pros­per­ous New Year.

Dr. Yok Yee (Yolinda) ChanCon­sul Gen­eral of the Repub­lic of Fiji in Shang­hai

Alek­sei EvsikovCon­sul Gen­eral of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion in Shang­hai

Kazuyuki KatayamaCon­sul Gen­eral of Ja­pan in Shang­hai

Pablo Agustín ObregónCon­sul Gen­eral of Ar­gentina in Shang­hai

Miloš Pris­lanHead of the Con­sulate of the Repub­lic of Slove­nia in Shang­hai

Rashed Matar AlqemziCon­sul Gen­eral of the UAE in Shang­hai

Therese HealyCon­sul Gen­eral of Ire­land in Shang­hai

Choi YoungsamCon­sul Gen­eral of the Repub­lic of Ko­rea in Shang­hai

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