Interview: the first vice premier talked about the strong brotherhood between Belarus and China, serving as ambassador in Beijing and what he can learn from Chinese friends

发布于: 2021-10-01 00:00

Nikolay snopkov, first deputy prime minister


October 1 marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the people's Republic of China. This is also a major event for Belarus, because our two countries are developing a comprehensive strategic partnership of mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation. Nikolay snopkov, first vice premier, former ambassador of Belarus to China and co chairman of Belarus China intergovernmental cooperation committee, talked about Belarus China's major projects, support for countries in a difficult period of coronavirus, iron brotherhood and what can be learned from Chinese friends in an interview with Belarus news agency.


Grishkevich: Nikolay gennadyevich, what is your overall evaluation of the development of cooperation between Belarus and China at this stage?


J Knop Kopf: I will appeal to the president of People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, to express China's wisdom in the BRICs Forum: "wise men always conform to the requirements of the times, and consider the specific circumstances to decide the way to solve the problem."


I can confidently say that thanks to wisdom and rich experience, of course, the friendship between leaders of our two countries - President Ross of the white Republic of People's Republic of China and President Xi Jinping of People's Republic of China - the two countries' cooperation has never ceased. It can be said that our relationship is full of vitality, constantly changing and rapidly adapting to new realities. We are regularly looking for new directions and projects. We work together to overcome any difficulties and support each other.


Today, the relationship between Belarus and China is truly strategic, not in words, but in action.



In the difficult period of fighting the coronavirus pandemic, our countries have shown exemplary interaction. We help each other in drug supply and support each other at the level of ordinary citizens. This year, white rose received nearly 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from China.


Despite the virus, trade will reach a new high in 2020, and China will become the second largest trading partner of Belarus for the first time in history.


Our country is actively one part of the "one belt, one road" construction, and promotes the railway freight volume along the railway line. Our key project, Jushi Zhongbai Industrial Park, is under successful development.


In addition, major projects in the field of military technology are being implemented. The year of white rose and China has just begun.


The two countries interact effectively within the framework of international and regional organizations and support each other on all key issues. China has never put forward any conditions to us. We have a unified positioning on the international platform. We do not accept interference in the internal affairs of the two countries. We believe that sovereignty and territorial integrity are the guarantee for the gradual independent development of Belarus and China. Therefore, I boldly evaluate our cooperation as an iron friendship and partnership that will not rust in any weather.


Grishkevich: in your opinion, does covid-19 alienate our countries from each other?


Snopkov: not at all. In addition, during this period, we are obviously closer to China. This is very natural. When real friends and partners face a common threat and work together, they overcome it not in words, but in action. In the most critical period of the fight against covid-19, both countries have found opportunities for mutual support, including the provision of humanitarian assistance.


Even if we are forced to be somewhere, we have more areas of common interests. In many areas, we have qualitatively improved the level of interaction and found gaps. For example, this is cooperation on medicine, logistics and international platforms.


In the field of medical and health care, starting from the fields absolutely important to the country such as vaccines, testing and protective equipment procurement, we are gradually marching into fields of more strategic significance - creating a medical cluster in Jushi Industrial Park and developing the pilot project of Belarus to promote traditional Chinese medicine in Eurasian Economic Union countries and Europe.


We are completing the registration for emergency use of Qingyi traditional Chinese medicine capsule, which has shown its effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of coronavirus.


On the international platform, we and China actively advocate the importance of taking joint and constructive measures to combat covid-19, rather than trying in vain to find the person responsible for the emergence and politicization of this virus.


I keep in regular contact with my Chinese counterparts, and I regret to admit that there is a lack of personal communication. I look forward to the early resumption of personal exchanges at all levels.


Grishkevich: what is the support for China during the epidemic and this difficult period in our country?


Snopkov: it happens that during my visit to Beijing in early 2020 and my stay in China as ambassador Barros, I was in a period of actively combating the spread of the unknown new coronavirus infection at that time.


I witnessed how China overcame the epidemic and began to help other countries facing this disaster. We know each other in adversity, which is the way our bilateral relations show themselves in the difficult times that everyone is facing. After learning about the issue of friendship with the Chinese people, President Belarus immediately decided to send two Belarus humanitarian aid aircraft to China to deliver about 40 tons of drugs and protective materials on January 30, 2020 and February 6, 2020, respectively. Equipment to Beijing.



When covid-19 reached the scale of pandemic and spread all over the world, including white rose, more than 20 provinces, cooperative companies and even ordinary citizens in China provided humanitarian assistance to China to combat coronavirus. It was an era of real lack of protective drugs, which is why support is so timely and important.


Our countries support each other in the international arena on issues sensitive to our agenda, and we jointly defend values close to us in spirit and time. China firmly supports Belarus in safeguarding national sovereignty and dignity and opposes unreasonable unilateral sanctions and interference in Belarus' internal affairs.


Bilateral cooperation has been strengthened in many areas, including trade. Therefore, China has ranked second in our foreign trade volume. Exports to China showed dynamic growth, with a growth rate of 121% in seven months this year. At the same time, it became diversified and was no longer bound by monopoly as before. At that time, potassium fertilizer accounted for more than 2 / 3 of the total.


At present, the export of food and agricultural products from Belarus to China accounts for 40%, which has exceeded the corresponding share of potassium fertilizer.


We are considering new projects with China in petrochemical, medical and other fields. The implementation of these projects will make a positive contribution to the economic development of Belarus and the creation of employment in the region.


There are also plans to implement a comprehensive project of financial stability and improving people's living standards. We hope to get China's support. Relevant negotiations are already in progress.


When some countries spoke the language of ultimatum to us, China demonstrated its willingness to conduct equal and honest dialogue and cooperation with our country. China holds the same principle to the world, and confirms the implementation of Xi Jinping's initiative to build a community of human destiny in concrete action. Unfortunately, not everyone understands and accepts this. They prefer temporary interests and pursue their own self-interest.


Grishkevich: Nikolay gennadyevich, why did you decide to announce the year of Belarus and China, and what can you expect from the results?


J Knop Kopf: in May 2015, the regional forum, which was attended by Alexander Lukashenko and Xi Jinping's equal head of state, effectively promoted the development of bilateral relations. By 2021, each state and capital of Belarus has established sister relations with at least two or more provinces in China. In China, there are 34 so-called first-class administrative units, and we have 6 prefectures and Minsk city.


We are systematically moving from the quantitative content of interregional cooperation to increasing the substantive components of such interaction, mainly economic and humanitarian.


Therefore, the decision of the two heads of state to hold a thematic year of interregional cooperation is a logical and reasonable step.


For example, mojiliov prefecture has sister relations with local governments in China, with a total population of more than 230 million and a GDP of more than US $1.8 trillion. Brest has cooperative relations with regions with a population of more than 200 million and a GDP of more than US $1.4 trillion, and so on.


This is a potential market for our exports, and entering this market during the regional year will be greatly simplified. Each province and city has its own uniqueness, and local governments are open to partnerships and mutual exchanges.


What can be expected from the results? The answer is obvious - bilateral trade, economy, investment, culture, tourism and other links are deepening and diversified.


Interregional cooperation is the engine of our relationship and brings great potential for joint projects and initiatives, knowledge and experience. We are pleased to learn from our Chinese sister partners how to develop regions and stimulate small businesses, economic zones and parks.



Grishkevich: how do you think Jushi has become a large project, or is it still in its infancy?


J Knop Kopf: the idea of Bai Industrial Park in the creation of white Ross belongs to Alexander Lukashenko and Xi Jinping. One belt, one road initiative, was launched in 2013, which was almost the same as in 2014, which was announced by the president of People's Republic of China.


When visiting the park in 2015, Chinese leaders called it "the Pearl of the Silk Road Economic Belt". Subsequently, the two heads of state personally signed the park development plan, opening a new chapter in the history of the project.


In fact, with the active support of barrows and China, the park has become the largest demonstration project in our region. "One belt, one road" is the best economic zone in 2020 and the fastest growing area, according to the international edition of the financial times.


The engineering and transportation infrastructure developed in the first phase has been completed and is in active operation, and the second phase is under design. The design of the high-speed passenger railway connecting Jushi and Minsk is in progress. Since its establishment, the park has invested about 680 million US dollars.


At present, there are 75 units in the park, of which 40 are Chinese enterprises, many of which are very famous, such as state machinery group (former Ministry of machinery industry), China Merchants Group, Weichai, Zoomlion, Huawei, etc. Resident investment projects exceed US $1 billion.


The launch of the "Eurasian railway portal" project of the international logistics terminal with the participation of Chinese, German, barrows and Swiss companies will provide direct and accelerated export for the transported goods along the China Europe China route, which deserves special attention.


We already have something to be proud of. But it is important not to slow down. We have passed new park legislation to promote the development of medicine and health care services focusing on traditional Chinese medicine.


It is preparing to build a Eurasian traditional Chinese medicine center, a traditional Chinese Medicine Park and a medical village.


The medium-term plan includes the establishment of a regional multimodal transport logistics hub and the construction of a narrow gauge railway from the industrial park to the Polish border, so as to reduce the travel time along this route and further increase the freight volume.


Grishkevich: Nikolay gennadyevich, when do you think the relationship between Belarus and China can reach a new height?


Snopkov: on September 29, 2021, Belarus and China established a comprehensive strategic partnership of mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation for the fifth anniversary. This is an important day for Belarus China relations. Over time, new features of our relationship have become commonplace: rustless brotherhood and all-weather partnership. In fact, we have reached a new stage. This is evidenced by all indicators of our interaction in the political, economic and humanitarian fields.


The decision-making power to ensure a new level of legal relations lies with President Barros and the president of the people's Republic of China.


Grishkevich: Nikola gennadyevich, you were in charge of the Belarus mission to China. What's your impression? What do you like most about the Chinese nation?


Snopkov: very good impression. I believe these emotions and feelings will accompany me for many years. China is a multifaceted country with a long history and tradition, based on the great Chinese people.


If I were allowed to choose any country as ambassador, I would choose China. China teaches and updates knowledge about the world around you and your inner world. China has opened up a new horizon of thinking and a new color of meditation. China is the future.


Grishkevich: what can we learn from China and what can we learn at this stage of development?


Snopkov: organization, discipline and cohesion. In just a few months, China has made a breakthrough in the domestic fight against covid-19 epidemic, can control its large-scale spread, and is currently taking effective preventive measures. This would be impossible without the joint and coordinated efforts of hundreds of millions of people.


China's innovation drive and willingness can also learn from China. China has made significant progress in aerospace research, 5g communication technology, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other cutting-edge technology fields. Every innovation and achievement is not a goal, but the next step in the country's gradual development.


Grishkevich: Nikolay gennadyevich, do you think the experience of Belarus ambassador to China as the first deputy prime minister is useful?


Snopkov: of course, it comes in handy. Diplomatic work is a great experience and a unique opportunity to learn about the country and people from the inside. Even during my time at the embassy, I had the opportunity to meet and communicate with many people from all fields.


While continuing to cooperate with China in my current position, I often make use of the knowledge and experience I have gained in this country.


We talked with department heads and company heads. From their point of view, what needs to be done to further expand and deepen cooperation and make cooperation full of new atmosphere. We are already implementing many proposals. For example, we considered business proposals in a new law on improving boulder conditions.


In China, they say that "jade is not chiseled, not made". The principle of government decision-making is the same. Any problem under consideration should be comprehensively studied, considered and weighed.


Alina grishkevich,

White rose News Agency


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