Interview: Spain shares multipolar vision of world with China, says Spanish PM

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-15 10:04:38|Editor: An
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MADRID, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Spain shares a multipolar vision of the world with China, said Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, on the eve of his trip to China for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which is being held on May 14-15 in Beijing.

In a written interview with the Chinese press, the Spanish head of government highlighted that his country's commitment to multilateralism to help resolve conflicts is similar to that of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Rajoy said it was normal that with its development and growth, China has assumed an international responsibility in line with its importance, and he believes China's leadership is vital on issues such as nuclear non-proliferation and the fight against climate change.

He also said that it is good for the world that the Chinese economy continues to grow, adding that the Chinese leadership was correct to use a growth model which helps boost internal growth in the service sector.

"Sometimes we fall into the trap of not realizing that a large part of the lifestyle we enjoy in the West would not be possible without the change experienced in China in the past 20 or 25 years," explained Rajoy.

The Spanish leader noted that the new Chinese economic model generates more sustainable growth and that the proof is China's signing of the Paris Agreement on fighting climate change.

He said the transformation was a challenge, but also an opportunity, because it offers a chance for quality growth.

As regards the Belt and Road Forum, Rajoy hopes that it would help discover the "best way to cooperate".

He also expressed his optimism that it would have tangible results in the form of a joint communique which would be a reference for the development of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative in the coming years.

He said Spanish companies "which have earned deserved international recognition in the world of infrastructures, energy and telecommunications" want to participate in the Road and Belt Initiative.

In his eyes, this intention is also "a splendid idea" to increase bilateral cooperation.

Rajoy noticed that Spain and China have maintained their own "Silk Road" over almost three centuries to effect a link between China and Europe and America. "We can also do it in the 21st century," he added.

Ports such as Valencia, Seville or Cadiz have been the focal points for contact with China, while now it is the trains departing from China that transport a myriad of Chinese goods to Europe and beyond, said Rajoy.

The cargo train running to and fro between the Chinese city Yiwu and the Spanish capital of Madrid is serving to strengthen commercial relations between Spain and China, and the Spanish prime minister believes it can possibly do more.

He said the integration of the rail link between Yiwu and Madrid with the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road would allow Spain to become a 'hub' for connections with north Africa and Latin America.

He also expressed satisfaction that trade balance with China is improving, with a record of exports worth over 5 billion euros (about 5.47 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016 and an expected further growth.

KEY WORDS: Belt and Road Forum