We have just completed our discussions with the President of the People's Republic of China and his associates. The discussions were held in an atmosphere of friendship, sincerity, and partnership which is representative of the relations between our countries.
I have expressed my gratitude to President Hu Jintao on deciding to visit the Republic of Croatia, seven years after my official visit to the People's Republic of China, thus showing how much significance he is giving to the relations of our two countries.
These relations are friendly and good, improving and developing, but - of course - there is still plenty that we can achieve, on both sides, in order to improve and develop them even further. This particularly pertains to economic cooperation and the large group of business people from China that has accompanied the President to Zagreb and participated at the Croatian-Chinese economic forum which is the best indicator of importance given by the Chinese side to this component of our relations.
I will repeat something in this context that I have already said many times before: Croatia cannot be an economic partner to China, but it can certainly be a partner of a large Chinese city or province. There are plenty of unused resources in this regard, and they are, to great extent, unused due to lack of our ambition and persistence in the research of Chinese markets.
On the other hand, we will welcome investments from the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Croatia - specially in those areas where we will recognize mutual interest and likelihood for investing. The legal framework of cooperation between two countries has been expanded today with yet another Agreement - related to economy, which I applaud.
We have also looked at the political component of bilateral cooperation for which I highlighted the fact that Croatia supports the “one China” policy and that we have used that as a foundation thus far, and will continue to do so in the future.
It is obvious that we touched on global affairs as well. We spoke of the global economic crisis, the need for a multi-polar world, the necessity for drastic changes pertaining to global development, and also of the requirement to build equal relations and to respect all the things that characterize each country in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. We agreed that the possibilities of cooperating within the United Nations, which both countries are supporting, must be used even more.
It is my pleasure to state that we have discovered great similarities and even equivalency in our views regarding all crucial issues which we discussed.
I used this opportunity to inform the Chinese President of the situation within our region, and to reinforce Croatian determination to support regional cooperation and lasting stabilization of southeast Europe.
I especially stressed that Croatia’s imminent EU membership will not change at all the fact that we - through our foreign policy - are striving to maintain as good and as close relations as possible with countries from other continents. I am extremely pleased with the discussions we held, but it is unfortunate that the visit of the Chinese President is so brief. However, I wish for the remaining hours of his visit to be constructive and pleasant.