MADRID — The Ambassador to Spain Lv Fan has spoken of the success of 41 years of bilateral cooperation between Spain and China which have seen frequent high-level diplomatic visits that have strengthened the mutual confidence between both nations.
The Ambassador made his declarations at an official reception held in Madrid on Jan 22 to celebrate his appointment as Chinese Ambassador to Spain, a country he had worked in as a diplomat 20 years ago.
He highlighted that last year, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajo made a successful visit to China which saw both countries sign cooperation agreements valued at 3.2 billion euros ($3.6 billion), whilst explaining that in 2014 bilateral trade between the nations set a new record at $28 billion which means China is Spain’s most important non-EU trade partner.
Reciprocal investment also continues to grow with Spanish statistics showing that last year Chinese investment in Spain was worth 933 million euros.
The Ambassador said both nations have also maintained close cooperation in questions of new materials, renewable energy, oceanography, environmental protection, agriculture and communication, as well as in other areas.
Every year sees over 7,000 Spaniards take high-level exams in Mandarin Chinese with Spain leading EU numbers for the past four years in students of the language, which serves to highlight that the good relations between both countries is based on solid popular foundations.
The economic crisis also saw China and Spain work on a series of structural reforms in order to help change models of economic growth.
“In China, as we deepen our reforms and move towards greater openness, the structure of the economy has to be more rational and the legal system more complete. Economic growth will be based mainly on internal demand and a growing number of areas have opened to foreign investment,” said the Ambassador, who believes Spain and China are moving along similar paths in their reforms, which serves to strengthen their relationship.
He said the Chinese government is considering the idea of constructing the Economic Hinterland to the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, with the aim of strengthening connections and cooperation with the rest of the world.
This idea coincides with the Spanish plan to promote tripartite cooperation between China, Spain and a third party and the Ambassador expressed his wish for both parties to take advantage of the idea and take advantage of Spain’s privileged position as a bridge between Europe, Latin America and Africa in what he considers to be a ‘win-win’ operation.
Lv Fan is the tenth Chinese Ambassador to Spain.