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Remarks by Ambassador Gui Congyou at the First China Alumni Reception
31 May 2019, Stockholm
2019/05/31

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends and guests,

China Alumni in Sweden,

Good morning. It gives me great pleasure to meet so many friends representing different sectors of Sweden. Welcome to the Embassy! You all share the experience of studying, working, visiting or starting a business in China, and you all made positive contributions to cooperation and friendship between China and Sweden. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks and sincere greetings to you, and through you to everyone that has been committed to promoting friendship between China and Sweden.

Sweden was the first Western country to establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, and it was also one of the first Western countries to sign an inter-governmental cooperation agreement on trade and technology, making positive contributions to China's reform, opening up and modernization. China and Sweden enjoy long-standing cooperation. Over 260 years ago, the Gothenburg merchant vessel sailed all the way to China, opening the maritime Silk Road cooperation between the two countries. There is traditional friendship between Chinese and Swedish people, and we both hope to grow China-Sweden cooperative relations. In the nearly seven decades of diplomatic ties, China-Sweden relations maintained an overall momentum of growth, achieving fruitful outcomes in many areas of exchanges and cooperation.

In 2018, trade between China and Sweden reached USD 17.15 billion, growing by 15% and hitting a new historical record. Exchanges between our two countries in education, technology and culture are expanding. The two Governments have established mechanisms such as Education Policy Dialogue and Joint Committee Meeting of Science and Technology. There are now more than 9,000 Chinese students in Swedish universities, more than doubling that of five years ago. The exchanges and cooperation between our schools, universities and research institutes are flourishing, and cultural exchange programs such as Confucius Institute and Chinese Language Culture Festival, and performances by Chinese art groups are also warmly received by the Swedish public.

Dear guests and friends,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the next year is the 70th anniversary China-Sweden diplomatic ties. In the past almost 70 years, friendship and cooperation has always been the mainstream of our diplomatic relations, and promoting further growth of our relations has always been a shared hope of our two peoples. There is great potential and bright prospects for deepening cooperation across the board between our two countries. Coming from various sectors and organizations in Sweden, you share a connection with China because of a common experience of studying, working or starting a business in China. You represent an important force for friendship between our two counties.

Many of you are very young, and are about to go to study or work in China, which will add new momentum into China-Sweden cooperation. The root of China-Sweden relations is in the people, and the future will be carried forward by the young. I sincerely hope that you will play a leading role to promote China-Sweden cooperation in your respective field, and inject new energy and vitality into our bilateral relations. We will work with Swedish agencies to establish a China Alumni Association in Sweden, and regularly hold activities like today's event, to provide a channel and platform for cooperation and exchanges with China. Let us work together, to continue to open new areas of China-Sweden cooperation, build new platforms, make greater contributions to friendship and cooperation for the benefit of our two peoples.

My best wishes for your career and study. Thank you!

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