Foreign visits

Nikol Pashinyan’s Workng Visit to People’s Republic of China

14.05.2019 - 16.05.2019

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his spouse Anna Hakobyan have arrived in the People’s Republic of China on a working visit.

Attended by the State Guard of Honor, a welcoming ceremony was held at Beijing’s International Airport.

Children in national costumes offered flowers to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Mrs. Anna Hakobyan, after which they were welcomed by Vice Minister of the State Council Information Office of China Guo Weimin and PRC Ambassador to Armenia Tian Erlong.

Later today, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan will meet with PRC President Xi Jinping.

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On a working visit to the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with PRC President Xi Jinping at the House of People’s Representatives.

After a protocol handshake and a video-photo session, the leaders of the two countries discussed a broad range of issues on the agenda of Armenian-Chinese relations.

Pleased to host the Armenian Prime Minister in China, the PRC President thanked Nikol Pashinyan for accepting his invitation to participate in the Dialogue of Asian Civilizations conference. Xi Jinping expressed his country’s interest in the continued development of multifaceted relations with Armenia. The President of the PRC spoke about the deeply-rooted Armenian-Chinese cultural and historical ties, noting that this was also due to the Silk Road, among other factors.

“We know the Armenian people very well; we know Aram Khachatryan, Artem Mikoyan and Hovhannes Tumanyan. We share a common goal of cooperation between different civilizations. We are well aware of Armenia’s history. We are convinced that the tragic events of the past should be ruled out in the future,” he said. Xi Jinping assured of China’s readiness to participate in the construction of the North-South Highway and other infrastructure-related projects.

The PRC President advised that several Armenian producers have recently participated in different exhibitions in China and are successfully represented on the Chinese market. Xi Jinping expressed confidence that bilateral cooperation will develop in trade, industry, transport, culture and in the humanitarian sphere. He added that his country will continue to support such projects as may contribute to Armenia’s development and enhance the welfare of the Armenian people.

Prime Minister Pashinyan thanked Xi Jinping for inviting him to the Dialogue of Asian Civilizations conference and for the possibility of a private meeting, which is a good opportunity to discuss the prospects of bilateral cooperation.

“Relations with the PRC are among Armenia’s foreign policy priorities. Our two nations represent ancient civilizations; Armenian manuscripts keep records of mutual contacts dating as far back as to the 5th century. We were engaged in commercial, humanitarian and political exchanges. It is extremely important for us to maintain constructive and productive relationships with China,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

Noting that he was very much impressed by China’s recent achievements, the head of the Armenian government congratulated Xi Jinping on the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Nikol Pashinyan said Armenia is prepared to implement joint projects with China in the framework of the One Belt - One Way initiative. In this connection, he pointed out that the Armenian side looks forward to participating in joint projects in the spheres of transport, railway communications and information infrastructures.

Taking the opportunity, Nikol Pashinyan gave details of Armenia’s recent developments, stressing that today our country is a dynamically developing state, strong with political stability and predictability.

During the meeting, which went off in a friendly atmosphere of mutual trust, the two heads of state exchanged views over the prospects of Armenian-Chinese relations, as well as on a number of issues of mutual interest relating to international and regional policies.

The interlocutors considered prospective cooperation in the spheres of agriculture, transport, energy, information technology, infrastructure, education, etc. The parties agreed to discuss further action at the level of the ministries.

Coming to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, both sides noted that the problem should be settled through dialogue.

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan partook in the opening ceremony of the Dialogue of Asian Civilizations conference at the National Conference Center in Beijing. President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, the Presidents of Singapore, Sri Lanka, Greece and the King of Cambodia were in attendance. The forum brings together over 2 thousand participants from 47 countries of the world. Before the conference had started, Xi Jinping welcomed the visiting country leaders, after which a joint video-photo session was held.

The conference seeks to strengthen ties, including economic exchanges, as well as to promote close multifaceted interaction between Asian countries.

Greeting the guests, PRC President Xi Jinping expressed the hope that the conference would give fresh impetus to the development and deepening of relations between the participating nations. The Chinese President noted that the forum is a good opportunity for the States to promote dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

Addressing the event, Nikol Pashinyan stated, in part:
“President Xi Jinping,
Your Excellences Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am privileged for this opportunity to be here in China – the cradle of ancient civilization – and attend this important event.

As I believe, the beauty of our planet and the human civilization is in diversity. Diversity generates dialogue. And the dialogue leads to the cultural exchange and mutual enrichment, which eventually creates conditions for progress.

Armenians in Armenia and in our worldwide Diaspora have historically developed a mindset that has always been open to interaction with various cultures, traditions, and religions. As noted by great German philosopher Emmanuel Kant, I quote, “Among the Christian nations Armenians have certain commercial spirit, they travel from the borders of China all the way to the coast of Guinea to carry on commerce… and know how to secure a peaceful reception by all the peoples they encounter”, end of quote. This is why today we can encounter landmark pieces of Armenian heritage in Jerusalem and Istanbul, Tbilisi and Baku, Hong Kong and Calcutta, Singapore and Dhaka – in all major spots along the ancient Silk Road.

Thus, the philosophy, which lies behind today’s conference, is in absolute conformity with our values. We are grateful for promoting the ideas aimed at supporting mutual understanding and cooperation among the nations and ready to support the Chinese government in its endeavors to reach this goal.

Openness, dialogue and the art of learning from each other is the path to the harmony and peace between the nations.

Dear participants,

As this year marks the 70th anniversary of foundation of the People’s Republic of China, I would like to extend our warm congratulations to President Xi Jinping and the people of China on this historic anniversary.

China has arrived at this milestone of its history with numerous achievements - impressive economic development, social and cultural progress. Effective governance, as well as the energy and dedication of the Chinese people have always been the engine on the road to these historically outstanding accomplishments.

Dear participants,

During the last year Armenia has undergone fundamental transformation. It sprang from a nation-wide public movement and reflected the aspirations of our people to build a better future for ourselves and the generations to come.

We have eradicated systemic corruption and oligarchic economy, strengthened independent judiciary, and established equal conditions for all economic players. Our ultimate goal is to build a competitive and technologically developed economy and a modern society based on the universal principles of equality, justice and the rule of law.

Today, Armenia is a dynamically developing country with a stable government, vibrant economy, and a modern and pluralistic society.

At the same time, Armenia is a country with a millennia-old history. We feel rightly proud of our cultural heritage that we preserved despite all vicissitudes of the past and even the genocide that we experienced in Ottoman Empire, in 1915.

As we learned from our history we reached our highest cultural achievements only when we had an uninterrupted communication and exchange with other cultures and traditions.

Therefore, today, as in the past, we see the path of our progress in close interaction with all regional and global players. We are against dividing lines, artificial barriers, and closed borders, which are nonsense in the 21 century, but still maintained by our neighbors creating security challenges and economic impediments.

Armenia is engaged in bilateral and multilateral cooperation processes encompassing much of the wider region - be it the economic integration with the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, where Armenia is one of the founding members, cooperation in the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership or the participation in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative that Armenia joined in 2015. Engagement in different intersecting cooperation frameworks has become one of the compatible advantages of Armenia.

I want to conclude my remarks by once again expressing my sincere gratitude to for inviting Armenia to this important forum and wishing the Conference a complete success.

Thank you for your attention.”

* * *

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is paying a working visit to the People’s Republic of China, today met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the House of People’s Representatives.

The Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China welcomed Nikol Pashinyan’s visit and expressed confidence that it would contribute to the furtherance and strengthening of bilateral relations. Highlighting the fact of centuries-old bilateral ties, Li Keqiang described it as a solid basis to give new impetus to cooperation between China and Armenia.

“We can closely cooperate in a wide range of areas, given the similarities between our two countries: there is a strong political groundwork for this,” Li Keqiang said.

Thankful for the warm welcome, Prime Minister Pashinyan said: “I am very pleased with this meeting. The Dialogue of Asian Civilizations conference is important for us. The opening of the conference was quite impressive. The forum is a good opportunity to review cooperation prospects. It is my pleasure to have such an opportunity and meet with you on the margins of the conference. Armenia and China have common interests. I feel that this visit will add momentum to the work on programs that represent the interests of Armenia and China.” Nikol Pashinyan made a point of cooperation in the fields of industry, transport and information technology.

In turn, Li Keqiang highlighted the furtherance of economic ties, stressing that the Chinese side’s approaches go in tune with the priorities voiced by Prime Minister Pashinyan.

The interlocutors discussed issues related to joint programs in the fields of trade, industry, transport, information technology and agriculture. Reference was made to the possibility of cooperating under the North-South Highway Project and other infrastructure-related projects implemented in Armenia. Li Keqiang stressed that the Chinese government is ready to participate in these programs.

The parties next discussed the possibility of implementing joint projects under the One Belt, One Way initiative in the fields of transport, railway communications and information infrastructures.

The discussion of the Armenian-Chinese economic agenda continued during the working dinner.

The meeting was attended by RA Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies Hakob Arshakyan, the Chinese Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Industry and Information Technologies.

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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Mrs. Anna Hakobyan attended a gala concert held on the sidelines of the Dialogue of Asian Civilizations conference at the National Olympic Stadium in Beijing. The Conference was attended by President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, the Presidents of Singapore, Sri Lanka, Greece and the King of Cambodia. PRC President Xi Jinping delivered greeting remarks and warmly welcomed those present.

Representatives of dozens of countries participating in the Dialogue of Asian Civilizations conference presented their national culture. The Armenian “Friendship” State Dance Ensemble performed during the gala concert

The forum brings together over 2 thousand participants from 47 countries of the world. The conference seeks to strengthen ties, inclusive of economic exchanges, as well as to promote close multifaceted interaction between Asian countries.

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On May 16, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with representatives of several Chinese companies, including Ganergy Heavy Industry Group, Hajer, and others in Beijing. The prospects and possibilities for implementing investment programs in Armenia were discussed during the meeting.

Pleased with the results of his working visit to the People’s Republic of China, Nikol Pashinyan said such steps as may spur bilateral economic ties will be discussed in the near future. “I am glad to discuss your interests and suggestions. Serious changes are taking place in Armenia: our country has done away with systemic corruption and economic monopolies. Our steps are aimed at creating equal conditions for economic entities and ensuring attractiveness to business environment,” the Premier said, noting that the high-level political dialogue with the PRC has resulted in favorable conditions for Chinese investments.

The Ganergy Heavy Industry Group representatives introduced their activities. They expressed willingness to invest in Armenia’s industrial and financial sectors.

Representatives of Zhen E Company said they are ready to import Armenian brandy, wine, processed farm products, and invest in a new industrial zone in our country.

The MZTL executives expressed readiness to establish an elevator manufacturing plant in Armenia. To that end, the Company is going to transport a small number of elevators to Armenia in order to assess their efficiency.

Prime Minister Pashinyan suggested discussing with the government officials the steps to take ahead, including the prospects for Chinese companies to get engaged in the free economic zone of Meghri.

The Head of Government stressed that the Armenian government views the construction of the North-South Highway as a communication and transport corridor and is pleased that the PRC government is also interested in cooperation under this key project.

By the end of his visit to the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Pashinyan gave interviews to Chinese Xinhua news agency and CCTV.

Prior to returning to Yerevan, Nikol Pashinyan called at the Armenian Embassy in the People’s Republic of China. The Prime Minister’s working visit to the PRC is complete.

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