How have China-Romania ties developed about 20 years on?
Global Thinkers

Editor's note: A friend in need is a friend indeed. In 2003, then Romanian PM Adrian Nastase visited China at the height of the SARS outbreak. How have China-Romania ties developed about 20 years on?  And how has the geopolitical landscape changed? CGTN's Liu Xin interviews former Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase.

Liu Xin: Let me first take us back in time a little bit and go back to that very special period of time in 2003 when China was experiencing the SARS epidemic. But people like you do not shun the country away, rather, you came and visit China during that difficult period of time. Help us understand what made you do that and what memories you can share with us now.

Adrian Nastase: It was at a time, if we try to remember the very moment, it was after the change of leadership, political leadership in China. And it was, in a way, a test if the new leadership could resist economically and politically to a kind of embargo. Because at that moment, because of SARS, China was under a huge pressure. I knew that it was a very important moment for the Chinese new leadership. And that's why I wanted to break that embargo.

Liu Xin: China as a socialist country with Chinese characteristics, but also painted as a growing threat, right? And China becoming stronger, of course has more of its interests to protect and promote in the world. And in that process, there are misunderstandings, there are misperceptions. So where to go next?

Adrian Nastase: Now, China has an important role, not only as a member of the Security Council, but as a real great power. I have seen a very interesting document which was produced by the Foreign Ministry of China. A reality check, it was a long document about some of the accusations made in the United States about the developments in China. And the idea, in my opinion, is correct, it's that every country needs to be taken with its own history, its own values, its own problems, its own territory, its own population, issues of various kinds. You cannot impose from the outside your own values on another country. And I think it was an interesting document.

China is changing a lot and has an important say in the world of today. I visited also Shanghai several times. It's a huge change since I visited before, the city, also Beijing, so, I think the more people see, understand the changes, the standards of living, the policy of the leadership. They will change their perception which has been introduced in a kind of manipulation of course, due to the news organization of the world and the kind of interests of the big powers in the media, in the social media. So, I think it is important to fuel that perception with as much information as possible about China.

Liu Xin: This year, the Communist Party of China will convene the 20th National Congress in Beijing. What are your expectations? What will you be paying attention to?

Adrian Nastase: I know that the Congress of the Communist Party is an excellent opportunity for an in-depth analysis of internal policies, but also, of international affairs. I am sure that a lot of new ideas and new measures will be taken with a view of preparing for 2050 as a target.

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