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Li wins hearts in Romania

Updated: 2013-11-28 06:41
By ZHAO YINAN ( China Daily)

Premier Li Keqiang's speech before the Romanian parliament on Wednesday has made me feel proud to be Chinese.

As a reporter, especially a legal affairs reporter whose essential job includes deciphering various kinds of Chinese articulations and transforming them into language comprehensible by foreigners, I understand perfectly how difficult it can be to make some Chinese concepts understandable to the West.

Premier Li did a brilliant job in this regard. His sincerity and humor, as well as his fascinating personal experiences, endeared him to the audience, and made his speech a big hit with members of the Senate and the Chamber of the Deputies.

Parliament is usually a place to carry out tit-for-tat debates and deliver ponderous speeches to get across one's ideas. As a reporter, I have sat through many speeches, delivered by prestigious lawmakers, politicians, businesspeople and activists. Many were plain and dull; some were interesting; but rarely had any speech been interrupted with warm applause 20 times in 30 minutes.

The grand lobby of the Parliament Palace, which could accommodate more than 400 deputies, was fully packed on Wednesday morning. More people were watching outside in the lobby, and hundreds of thousands of people in Europe and China were watching the speech over a television broadcast.

The speech was warmly received for good reason. Li recounted China's long-term friendship with Romania back to the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. He emphasized the full and mutual respect for a country that was once been dominated by the former Soviet Union and was now an influential member of the European Union. He promised more imports of agricultural products and more infrastructure construction projects to come. All of which matched precisely the hopes and aspirations of the Romanian people.

During the four-day visit, I personally felt the warmth and hospitality of the Romanians. Early winter in Bucharest is usually cold and snowy, but the Romanian hosts had used measures to create bright and warm weather when the Beijing delegation arrived on Monday. Prime Minister Victor Ponta not only went to the airport to welcome Premier Li Keqiang in person — a ceremony that has not taken place in Romania for 19 years — he also planned to accompany Li to the airport to see him off on Thursday.

Prime Minister Ponta, who accompanied Li on practically every stop of his visit, said he was looking forward to building a personal relationship with Li that goes beyond working relations, in a bid to reinforce Romania's exchanges with China.

The sincere friendship between the two countries promises to be as warm and long-lasting as the applause on Wednesday.

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