|Xi Jinping Speaks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on the Phone|
On November 30, 2021, President Xi Jinping had a phone conversation with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades ahead of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. The two heads of state spoke highly of the development of China-Cyprus relations in the past 50 years, and jointly decided to upgrade the China-Cyprus relationship to a strategic partnership.
Xi Jinping pointed out that since the establishment of diplomatic relations 50 years ago, the two countries have successfully set an example of friendly relations between large and small countries. Politically, the two countries firmly support each other's core interests and major concerns, and are friends of mutual trust. Economically, the two countries have achieved fruitful cooperation in such fields as energy and telecommunications, and are partners in the joint construction of the Belt and Road. Education, tourism as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have also become increasingly close. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two sides have supported each other and stuck together through thick and thin, and the strategic nature of China-Cyprus relations has grown increasingly prominent. It is a political decision made by the two countries in line with the trend of the times that China and Cyprus officially announce the establishment of the strategic partnership on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, which will inject strong impetus into the future development of bilateral relations.
Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal on the development of China-Cyprus ties at a new starting point. First, the two sides should treat each other as equals, respect each other's social system and development path independently chosen by the two peoples, and respect each other's core interests and major concerns. Second, the two sides should push for deeper and more concrete mutually beneficial cooperation, and deepen cooperation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road. The Chinese side is glad to see more high-quality Cypriot agricultural and food products in the Chinese market, encourages Chinese enterprises to take an active part in Cyprus's green economy and digital transformation as well as its post-pandemic recovery and development, and welcomes Cyprus's active participation in the Global Development Initiative. Third, the two sides should maintain the right direction of the development of China-EU relations. China and the EU are comprehensive strategic partners and should stay committed to the general direction of cooperation. The Chinese side stands ready to have a frank dialogue with the EU side and properly handle differences. China hopes that Cyprus can call on the EU to work with China to ensure a sound and stable development of China-EU relations along the correct track. Fourth, the two sides should advocate a fair and reasonable international order. Democracy is a common value of all mankind. Democracy exists not just in only one form or has just one standard, and no country should be allowed to monopolize the interpretation of democracy and then impose it on others. China is willing to work with the international community, including Cyprus, to safeguard fairness and justice, and promote democracy in international relations, so that people of all countries can truly enjoy broader and more substantial rights and freedom.
Anastasiades said that since establishing diplomatic ties 50 years ago, the two sides have always understood and supported each other, and the cooperation between the two sides in political, economic and social areas has kept deepening and achieved positive results. China is a vital partner and friend of Cyprus. I am glad that after our phone conversation, we will issue a joint statement to officially announce the establishment of the Cyprus-China strategic partnership, which is of milestone significance to bilateral relations. Cyprus firmly adheres to the one-China policy, and firmly supports China's positions on issues concerning its core interests. Cyprus stands ready to work with China to strengthen high-level exchanges, and step up cooperation in trade, investment, culture, tourism and other areas within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to push for better development of Cyprus-China relations. Cyprus appreciates China's impartiality in international affairs and is willing to strengthen multilateral communication and coordination with China. Cyprus is ready to actively promote dialogue and cooperation between the EU and China.
After the phone conversation between the two heads of state, the two sides issued the Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Cyprus on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership.