To strengthen practical cooperation and serve the general diplomatic relations
——ZHI Shuping visits Ireland, Norway and Serbia

  To strengthen the cooperation with Ireland, Norway and Serbia in the area of inspection and quarantine, implement the consensuses of the leaders and serve the general diplomatic relations, at the invitation of Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine of Ireland, Minister of Fisheries of Norway, Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Serbia, AQSIQ Minister Zhi Shuping paid a successful visit to the three countries.

  Ireland is an important member of European Union and is China’s strategic partner for mutually beneficial cooperation. China and Ireland are strongly complementary in economy, and China is Ireland’s important export market for food and agricultural products. During the visit, Zhi conducted discussions with Minister of Agriculture, Food and Marine Michael Creed. Zhi pointed out that in the past few years, great progress has been made in the inspection and quarantine cooperation in the context of continuously deepened overall bilateral strategic partnership, and the quality and safety of food and agricultural products have been guaranteed. AQSIQ would like to join hands with Ireland to improve cooperation mechanism, elevate cooperation level, serve the interests of the two peoples with tangible achievements and enrich the strategic partnership for mutually beneficial cooperation. Minister Creed positively responded that it is of great significance for Ireland to have the quarantine issue solved through bilateral technical cooperation, and this issue attracted high attention nationwide. Ireland would, with strict standards and management, ensure the quality and safety of products to be exported to China. After the meeting, the two sides signed inspection and quarantine documents on beef and horse. Chinese Ambassador to Ireland Xue Xiaoyong attended the activities. Major media in Ireland made follow-up reports.

  Zhi is the first Chinese Minister to visit Norway after the normalization of China-Norway relations in December 2016. In Norway, Zhi conducted formal discussions with Minister of Trade and Industry, Minister of Agriculture and Food and Minister of Fisheries. Zhi pointed out in the meetings that China-Norway friendship dated back to ancient times. Recently Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg paid a successful visit to China, and the leaders of the two countries reached important consensuses on the development of bilateral relations. The aim of AQSIQ delegation is to implement the consensuses, and make practical contribution to China-Norway relations in the spirit of mutual respect, equal treatment and mutual benefit. The Minister of Fisheries, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of Trade and Industry all stated that Norway and China are natural cooperation partners in maritime affairs and fishery, and all people of Norway pay high attention to the normalization of China-Norway relations. It is of great significance that Minister Zhi paid a visit to Norway in less than two weeks after Norwegian Prime Minister had visited China, and it is of great importance in ensuring the quality and safety of mutually provided products and in facilitating bilateral trade. The two sides conducted discussions on National Quality Infrastructure, establishment of cooperation mechanism in the area of inspection and quarantine, and quarantine of agricultural products and aquatic products, and signed documents on cooperation mechanism for China-Norway import and export food safety, and cooperation in inspection and quarantine of bovine genetic material. The visit of the delegation was intensively reported by Norwegian media.

  During the visit in Serbia, President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic met with Minister Zhi respectively. President Nikolic said that China is Serbia’s good partner. I have discussed with President Xi Jinping on how to reduce the Serbian trade deficit with China. Serbia produces food and agricultural products according to EU standards, and is eager to increase relevant product export to China. It is of vital importance to raise the attraction of rural area to young labor force and maintain economic prosperity and social stability. Prime Minister Vucic said that Serbia is China’s huckleberry friend. Especially after President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang visited Serbia, the bilateral relations have made further and quick development and many big cooperation projects have been conducted. Serbia also expects to cooperate with China in the area of agricultural products and food and increase meat and dairy export to China. Serbia also welcomes investment from Chinese companies to jointly develop the processing of agricultural products and food. Serbia will go all out to meet China’s inspection and quarantine requirements and provide the most convenience for Chinese investment in Serbia. Zhi said that Serbia and China share similar experiences in defeating fascism and fighting for national independence and freedom. For a long time, Chinese people have held special and friendly feelings towards Serbian people. Especially in recent years, with the care and guidance from the leaders of the two countries, the bilateral relations have deepened in all areas and the two sides have upgraded the relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership and entered the prime time. My visit is to implement the consensuses of the leaders of two countries, strengthen the practical cooperation in the area of inspection and quarantine, promote Serbia’s agricultural products and food export to China under the prerequisite of safety and, help to facilitate Chinese companies’ investment in Serbia. During the subsequent discussions with Serbian Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, the two sides exchanged views on establishing cooperation mechanism in inspection and quarantine and conducting inspection and quarantine cooperation in meat, dairy and products of plant origin, signed cooperation documents on conducting animal disease regionalization and establishing cooperation mechanism on import and export food safety, and jointly attended the press conference. Chinese Ambassador Li Manchang took part in the activities.

  During the visit, Zhi also went to the food research center of Kerry Group in Ireland, Austvoll Aquatic research center and aquafarm in Norway, and meat processing and dairy product companies in Serbia, and made a research study on the guarantee system of product quality and safety. Zhi also paid a special visit to the old site of the former embassy of China to Yugoslavia and pondered on the martyrs who lost their lives in the bombing.

  Zhi also spared his time to listen to the report of CCIC Britain, CCIC Europe and CCIC Bremen. By referring to policy adjustment relating to imported solid waste, Zhi required the companies to further improve the awareness of reform and innovation, increase competitiveness, adapt to local environment, so as to grow bigger and stronger, and build a good image of Chinese companies going global.