Talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping

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Belarus has always been a reliable partner for China and will remain so, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on 4 December.

"I am glad to have this opportunity and discuss topical issues of cooperation with you in a friendly atmosphere and express our points of view on various problems of international relations, as it has always been the case between us. The development of comprehensive and all-weather strategic cooperation between Belarus and China is determined by the similarity of our ideologies and the very logic of international events and processes that are taking place today," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Our meeting on 1 March [2023] was in many ways pivotal and set the momentum for the whole year. Since March, more than 120 mutual visits have been carried out. Those are various visits. What is most pleasing is that the visits are related to cooperation in the manufacturing sector, trade and economy."

The Belarusian head of state stressed that the historic rise in relations had given a powerful impetus to the deepening of cooperation in traditional areas and launched new vectors and mechanisms of cooperation.

"Belarus has been a reliable partner for China and will remain so. I don't think anyone in China needs to be convinced of this. All this has happened before my eyes for the last 30 years, and even way back. I came to China for the first time as a member of parliament," the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted his long-term acquaintance with Xi Jinping and joint work to advance bilateral relations.

"We have a lot of experience. We know what our countries need. We have done a lot in this regard," the Belarusian President said.

"We decided a long time ago that we would cooperate and live in friendship with China. As I said, this friendship is more than 30 years old. We have never turned from this path either to the left or to the right," the President emphasized.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Xi Jinping for the meeting, noting that the Chinese leader has recently had a very busy schedule: a huge number of international meetings, not to mention domestic policy events in China itself.

"Upon reflecting on this, I can say: well, this is the burden of one of the world leaders," the head of state said. "Therefore, I am very grateful to you for this meeting, for the responsiveness."

"When I was preparing for this visit, I asked my colleagues [during a meeting with the senior officials of the government and the President Administration to discuss, among other things, the Belarusian-Chinese cooperation] about what more needs to be done, what things are not moving forward so that I could discuss these things in Beijing. We did not fine a single issue. Progress has been made across the board. The only issue that I would like to discuss with you today is speed," the head of state said.

"Time is very compressed today. This does not depend on us (maybe, fortunately, maybe, unfortunately). It is so compressed that sometimes we fall behind. It's not just China, Belarus... This is happening around in the world. The one who is the first to reach their goal will be at the top," Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

The Belarusian President also said that Belarus supports the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind put forward earlier by the Chinese leader.

"You just mentioned the Belt and Road. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the Belt and Road Initiative is, as you said, no longer a concept today. It is already a practice. In progress. No one can argue with this today, and no one can find even a trifle to criticize. The most important thing is that you have defined the common destiny for humankind as the goal. Unlike Western countries that are trying to tear everything apart, you have set the single goal for all. Who can argue with that? No one. The world will be grateful to Great China for this," the head of state said.

"We would like to see China a powerful country. We would like to see it grow. This is not only our interest. It is the interest of the whole planet, because a huge number of talented hardworking people live here [in China]," Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

The President of China Xi Jinping, in turn, said that the Chinese side is ready, together with Belarusian partners, to strengthen strategic cooperation in the name of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

"My great friend, I am very glad to see you again. As part of your state visit to China in late February and early March of this year, we reached important agreements in favor of the dynamic development of Chinese-Belarusian relations. At every stage, we reach new agreements. Over the course of the year, political mutual trust and international cooperation are strengthened. There are new results of cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative," the Chinese leader said.

The President of the People's Republic of China stated that 10 years ago the Belt and Road Initiative was a concept. Now more than 140 countries and international organizations have joined cooperation within its framework.

Xi Jinping stressed that under the strong leadership of its President, Belarus has managed to overcome the impact of various negative factors, to maintain social harmony and stability, to ensure economic recovery and growth, which has laid a solid foundation for further development.

"For China, maintaining stability and long-term development is very important. We have made great strides in this work. In today's world, titanic changes are taking place, new risks and challenges are emerging. Much of what is happening is unexpected for us. The Chinese side is ready, together with Belarusian partners, to strengthen strategic cooperation in the name of creating a community with a shared future for mankind," the Chinese leader said.

At the end of the negotiations, the two leaders exchanged gifts and continued their conversation over a working lunch.