In interview with newspaper "Svobodnaya Gruzia", the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China in Georgia talked about existing relationships between Georgia and China as well as about future perspectives. He expressed his impressions regarding the Country and talked about the modern China. In addition, he told a little bit about himself.
"I am already the 5th Ambassador of China to Georgia. Diplomatic relationship between our two countries has been established from 1992. First Ambassador to Georgia is my friend. We worked together in Moscow and in Riga (Latvia). Just before my departure from China, I met him and he asked me to convey best regards to all his Georgian friends. By the way, his wife was my first teacher of Russian at the school.
I am coming from ordinary Chinese family. My father was electric engineer. My mother worked as a weaver at a textile mill. From 3rd year at the school, founded at the Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages, I have been studying Russian. In 1973, I was lucky to start working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. Later I was sent as an intern to the Embassy of China in Moscow for 3 years. Where I have met my wife and we have got married. I worked in the Embassy of China to Russia two times; overall, I lived there more than 11 years. After dismantling of the USSR, I worked as a counselor in the Kazakhstan. Later I was sent as an ambassador to Latvia staying there more than 3 years. As for my family, it consists of my wife and daughter. My wife works as a consul. She always accompanies me. My daughter is 23. She has gradated university and works for Beijing international economic company."
"China as a big state has an interest to maintain friendly relations with all countries, especially, when two countries already have established them. Traditionally China and Georgian always have had good relationship. Georgia is quite famous in China, particularly for its wines. However, mostly important is that Georgia has provided the world and the history with prominent people. By the way, Georgian chess players are well known in China.
Our relations developing very well in all fields. Interests of our countries are practically the same. At least they do not conflict. We have no divarication in interstate relations. Nevertheless, we could not be satisfied with our achievements. The level of our cooperation is not so high so far. There is a lot to do. Therefore, the priority for me is further development of our cooperation.
You know that diplomatic work is not so easy. You must protect interests of our own country as well as the interests of the hosting state. I am glad that our relations develop successfully. The opening of the Embassy of Georgia in Beijing is planned in March this year.The georgian Embassy in China would be headed by very experienced person, Mr. Mikhale Ukleba, working currently as a deputy minister of the MFA of Georgia. Basis of our relations is already established. Now we should push it forward.
What I plan to do is to activate political contacts. You have new President. I would work on organization of high-ranking official visits on the level of parliament and ministries of foreign affairs of both countries. In the nearest future chairperson of Georgian parliament would visit China. Besides that, I am going to strengthen cultural ties: introduce Chinese art to Georgian people. We run student-exchanging programme and every year we are sending five Georgian students to China to improve their Chinese skills. We have already started selection procedures of 2005.
As for economic relations, I would say that annual turnover is not so great. It equals to 10-20 million US dollars. This very field needs hard work to be improved. Of course, it is not so easy to implement. In both countries, we have market economy. You cannot force people to make investments. What we can do is to push the process of establishment of partnership between businessmen of both countries. By the way, the joint production of Georgian cognac in China is on the agenda. Wine became popular in China in the last period. French and Italian wines are popular there. Nevertheless, Georgian wines can compete with them. We have built hydropower station in Georgia that was already put into production partly. Therefore, there is still way to go.
I am here for 1 month. It is quite a short time. Nevertheless, I have met Ms. Nino Burjanadze, her deputy, chairperson of parliamentary committee of international affairs, minister of foreign affairs, her deputies, and the directors of different departments. I was introduced to representatives of Georgian press. We had reception for them at our Embassy. Moreover, we organized reception for the Chinese living and working in Tbilisi. There are nearly 40 to 50 Chinese living here.
So far, I have not seen other parts of Georgia. I am going to visit Kutaisi (as I have been recommended by Ms. Nino Burjanadze), Batumi, Gori. I would like to visit Kakheti as well. We have to develop contacts on the regional level. I would like to attend traditional Georgian wedding. Gradually, traditions are reviving in China, while in 80-90ss our young generation preferred modern wedding ceremonies."
"a little bit about China: You have to visit China every month and you would be able to feel the pace of changes undergoing there. From the one hand, Beijing is an ancient city but on the other hand, it looks like modern town with many high scrapers. This is the period of merging new tendencies with old traditions.
According to economic development, China occupies 4th or 5th place in the world. 1200 US dollars falls to the share of population per capita from the Country's GDP. It is a low figure. However, this indicator reaches 4-5 thousands of US Dollars in Shanghai, Beijing and some other places.
Some regions, especially western ones are poor. In comparison with urban areas, rural areas lag behind. Government works with all efforts to improve the situation in those regions. Of course, there are some financially vulnerable people in cities as well. This group needs help and government pays great attention to them. You cannot admit remarkable disproportion. We are on the way of establishment of Social Equity."