By Igor Slavinsky
Alexander Lukashenko invited the diplomat to his residence to say farewell, to thank him and to speak about relations between our two countries. Belarus highly appreciates China’s contribution to the Belarusian economy but hopes to see even more investments. “We’d like China to come to the centre of Europe with its investments — neither hampering nor opposing anyone,” the President stated. “It is already acting in this way, moving carefully.”
Mr. Lukashenko was sad to see Mr. Guicheng depart and noted, “It’s not good when friends leave. However, we hope that friendly China will keep to its course, sending people to our country who are ready to guide politics in the same way as you and your predecessors.”
During Mr. Guicheng’s recent three years of work in Minsk, Belarus and China have realised joint projects worth many millions of Dollars. Not only grand plans but real results are evident from the bilateral collaboration. These achievements include the reconstruction of heating stations in Minsk, and the construction of cement plants, the building of Lebyazhy residential district, and the electrification of sections of railway. Work is either complete or is underway.
Beijing has opened a credit line for Minsk (worth billions of Dollars), clearly indicating that it has long term interests in the Republic. The Ambassador noted the fact when voicing China’s official assessment of its co-operation with Belarus.
China remains a region of stability during today’s global economic transformations. Its GDP is steady at 10 percent annually or more, making it a driving force worldwide — a geopolitical super-state, whose opinion is considered vital to international decision making. Mr. Lukashenko believes that China’s rise in status levels out the balance of power, helping create a multi-polar world. Moreover, its influence is expected to keep rising.
“We feel proud that — even before the process began — we established very close friendly relations. We also view it as a success that, two decades ago, we correctly defined the direction of our relations with China, understanding that huge prospects lay ahead,” the President told Mr. Guicheng. Mr. Lukashenko is also proud that ‘the Chinese are coming to Belarus’ — meaning their investments. However, he immediately added that Minsk is expecting ‘even more’.
Mr. Guicheng stressed that, during his three years at the embassy in Minsk, Belarus and China have significantly advanced in almost every avenue of bilateral co-operation. He agreed that the potential is greater, with much more to be done. This will be the job of the new ambassador sent by Beijing to Minsk.
During their parting meeting, Mr. Lukashenko bestowed the leaving Chinese Ambassador with the Frantsisk Skorina Order. Foreigners are rarely honoured with such significant state awards. As Mr. Guicheng said, ‘this is a true symbol of friendship between China and Belarus’.