Guo Weimin attends China-CEEC Spokespersons' Dialogue


Guo Weimin, vice minister of the State Council Information Office of China, attended the China-CEEC Spokespersons' Dialogue in Budapest on Tuesday. April 26, 2018

Spokespersons from China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries, which are collectively known as CEE nations, gathered in Budapest on Tuesday to talk about the ways governments communicate with the public.

Guo Weimin, vice minister of the State Council Information Office of China, speaks at the opening ceremony of the China-CEEC Spokespersons' Dialogue. [Photo/China SCIO]

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the gathering, which is known as the China-CEEC Spokespersons' Dialogue, Guo Weimin, vice minister of the State Council Information Office of China, talked about the role of spokespersons in the era of social media and in a globalized world.

"China's government spokesperson system is an important window to publicize national policies, as well as to present its national image to the international community," Guo said.

Levente Magyar, Hungary's minister of state for parliamentary affairs, said: "China and Central and Eastern European countries' cooperation stands at the forefront of our diplomatic efforts, and we are more than willing to expand our interest in further partnerships."

Magyar emphasized the importance of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative in the CEE region, saying: "This partnership should … be deepened and widened. This is the region that regards China as a friend and is ready to further strengthen the friendship with the people of China."

Themed "Openness and Communication: Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind," the gathering was the second staging of such an event after the platform was launched in Beijing in July.

Paul Ciprian Ciocoiu, a spokesperson for the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the platform had created direct interaction, which is the key to communication.

"When you have direct interaction, you also have a very good exchange designed to create solutions, sparks, visions, ideas, and insights and that can only serve the very goal of cooperation between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries," Ciocoiu said. "The better we know each other, the better we cooperate."

Natasa Pavsek, from the Slovenian government's communication office and one of those who also attended the inaugural spokespersons meeting in Beijing last year, said: "The meetings of communicators are very important to building long-lasting relations and, in this regard, I think we all can benefit. Certain initiatives, such as '16+1', and the Belt and Road Initiative, could be of common interest among other countries in the region as a whole. I think we should take this opportunity to have more conversations, not just on the official panel but also by joining and sharing thoughts and experiences in the field of communication."

"16+1" was launched in 2012 with the aim of intensifying cooperation between China and the16 Central and Eastern European countries.

Since the unveiling of the program, China's trade volume with the 16 CEE countries has grown, to US$67.98 billion in 2017, an increase of 15.9 percent compared to the year before. Investment from China into CEE countries reached US$9.75 billion, while investment in the other direction amounted to US$1.44 billion last year.