Confucius Institute at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje Holds “The Third China-CEE Conference”

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia [Time]    2017-10-18 09:07:02 
 

On October 6th and 7th local time, the Confucius Institute at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics and Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje successfully held “the Third China-CEE Conference” themed “the role of human capital in the Belt and Road Initiative” in Ohrid, Macedonia.

Mr. Gjorge Ivanov, President of Macedonia, Ms. Yin Lixian, Chinese Ambassador to Macedonia, and Professor Nikola Jankulovski, Rector of Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, attended and addressed the conference. The conference was attended by over 100 professors, experts and scholars from 17 countries and regions including China, Macedonia, the United States, Australia, Russia, Serbia, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Georgia, Qatar and Hong Kong, China.

Gjorge Ivanov noted in his speech that “China is once again getting close to its status as the world’s largest economy as it used to be over 200 years ago. With such progress, China has already made remarkable advancements in various fields. The Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries can also benefit from China’s achievements, especially in technology and innovation”. “The projects of infrastructure construction with China’s support are extremely significant to the CEE countries. However, we still call for cooperation in education, science and technology and culture”, he added.


Mr. Gjorge Ivanov, President of Macedonia, addressing the conference

In her speech, Yin Lixian pointed out that the Belt and Road Initiative is launched by China, but belongs to the world. Over the past few years, this initiative has been transformed from theoretical concepts to practical actions. She also said that "16+1 cooperation" mechanism corresponds to the principle of the Belt and Road Initiative and it is a major innovation of China-Europe friendly cooperation. On top of that, it serves as an important platform to accelerate the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative in the CEE countries.


Ms. Yin Lixian, Chinese ambassador to Macedonia, delivering her speech

Professor Nikola Jankulovski highlighted in his speech the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative to the cooperation in higher education institutes and scientific research between China and the CEE countries.


Professor Nikola Jankulovski giving his speech

This conference includes two parts which are keynote speech and group discussion. In the first part, Professor Chen Xin, Director of the Institute of European Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, expressed that the Belt and Road Initiative should not be limited to infrastructure construction and trade contacts. More importantly, it is a conception of sustainable development, and human capital will play an important role in its implementation.


Professor Chen Xin giving his speech

Prof. Howard Davies from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University mentioned in his keynote speech that what matters most for the Belt and Road Initiative is to truly know about China, but obvious misunderstandings about China can often be found in the reports and analyses of western media. “These misunderstandings are due to two reasons, one being the structural and cultural differences between China and western countries, and the other being western media's reluctance and sluggishness when observing and commenting about China,” he said.


Prof. Howard Davies delivering a speech

Prof. Ljubomir Kekenovski said, “At the beginning of the new millennium, China is the only new element for the Balkan Peninsula and the CEE countries. Even for the Europe or a wider part of the world, China is a new and proactive socio-economic and political existence. Especially for the Balkan Peninsula and the CEE countries, China will lead a more profound revolution in culture, economy and even geopolitics.” He concluded, “We still need to open our minds to learn about the Belt and Road Initiative intensively from all aspects.”


On-sight questioning

In the session of group discussion, scholars from over 10 countries and regions discussed in groups on four special topics, namely “relations between China and CEE countries”, “language and translation”, “the Belt and Road Initiative and its orientation” and “human capital”. This session saw the collision and confrontation between different views as well as vehement debates and eloquent speakers.


The audience in the branch venue

Prof. Cao Dejun from the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, made a wonderful speech titled “Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone: Objectives, Planning and Business Opportunities” and was interviewed by many Macedonian media as a representative of participating scholars. During the two-day conference, Xinhuanet of China, and MIA, Urban FM, MTM and other media of Macedonia covered the full spectrum of the event.


Prof. Cao Dejun from the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in an interview with the media


Group photo

“China-CEE Conference”, which is held every two years, had been held for two sessions. The first session was held in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, in 2013. The second session was held in Krakow, a famous historical city in Poland, in 2015. And the third session of the conference concluded beside the Lake Ohrid, Macedonia, on October 7th.

The successful hosting of these academic conferences will definitely contribute to promoting mutual understanding and trust between China and the CEE countries, helping the CEE countries to know and understand better about the Belt and Road Initiative, and laying a solid foundation for further cooperation.

Story by Liao Wei, Zhao Jin and Zhang Tinghong

 
Keywords:

Related News