5. You were a Chinese ambassador to Ireland. Also, recently you wrote an article about Brexit and you sounded optimistic. How do you think Chinese relations with the UK will look like?
Dr. Yue:As a former Ambassador to Ireland, I always care for a continuous growth of friendly and fruitful relationship between China and Ireland and keep optimistic. I noticed there are concerns due to the Covid-19 and downturn of the economy about transition for the Brexit after agreement signed early this year and hope all relevant sides can solve problems in time by the end of this year opening a new page. As for Sino-UK relationship, recently it faces some difficulties mainly because of British sides’ keeping intervening into China’s domestic affairs regarding HK. UK should really realize HK is part of China and take the big picture of China and UK relations in mind and stop doing those wrong things.
6. Could you describe how things currently in China regarding coronavirus? Are people still afraid of the virus? What are some measures are still implemented in China?
Prof. Huang:China has contained the spreading of Covid-19 and got a second wave under control. There are new confirmed cases daily but in single digits, most of which were imported. A month ago Beijing saw an outbreak in Xinfadi market, now again has returned to zero infections. The Chinese people have by and large returned to normal life and resumed the production, while continuing strictly following disease control and prevention guidelines and to work with all other countries, Croatia included, in fighting the virus as long as the pandemic is still with us in the world.
7. The biggest critics of China claim that the government in Beijing cannot be trusted because of suppression of news in the early days of coronavirus epidemic. Can Beijing prove everybody wrong?
Prof. Huang:China is among the best in fighting the Covid-19 and supporting international society in the common efforts. It is understandable there is some criticism for the early stage of the pandemic, but frankly with a lot of guesswork and hearsay. Call a spade a spade and one would see that the fact is what has happened is an unexpected attack by an unknown virus to all humanity’s previous knowledge. It takes time to understand it. China has provided timely information to the international community in an open, transparent and responsible manner, bringing the world at least two months’ time. It is unfair to blame China.
8. There is an ongoing dispute between India and China and recently there was some casualties on the border between forces. Both countries are nuclear powers. Are the relations with India, which are obviously not good, the main current preoccupation of the ministry of foreign affairs of your country?
Prof. Huang:China-India border clashes were not expected. Instead of provoking disputes, China was forced to defend itself. Prime Minister Modi publicly admitted that China did not initiate the attack on the Indian side of the Actual Line of Control. Beijing initiated touch with New Delhi to calm down tensions, both sides agreed with disengagement and de-escalation and stressed their unwillingness to see any flaring up. Beijing would like to see as always control, stabilize and resolve China-Indian border disputes through bilateral diplomatic channel. It is hoped that this principle is also upheld by India to work with China in the same direction.
9. How do you view the relations between Croatia and China? They seem to be on the rise, especially regarding the construction of the Pelješac bridge. What are main Chinese objectives regarding cooperation with Croatia?
Dr. Yue:Relationship between China and Croatia is the best among all our ties with Europe owing to great efforts of both sides and especially a lot of efforts made by Croatian friends from all walks of life as I can obviously see. From beginning of the pandemic, as I observe myself, our two countries have been making wonderful measures to support and help each other exactly reflecting the idea of shared future for humanity as our President Xi Jinping put it. I also wrote an article commending about how partners both China and Croatia have tried successfully to restart work for the Peljesac Bridge in a recovery efforts in the pandemic, many of my Chinese friends are very happy to read it.
(By Dr. Yue Xiaoyong, Special Expert of CF of Tsinghua University, Director of the Center for Global Studies, NADS of Renmin University of China, Former Chinese Ambassador, and
Prof. Huang Renwei, Executive vice dean of Fudan Institute of Belt and Road & Global Governance, Special Expert of CF of Tsinghua University, Vice President of the Academy of Social Science of Shanghai)