Speech by Chinese Ambassador to Iceland Jin Zhijian at the Seminar on Energy Cooperation between Iceland and China
2019/05/31

Broad Prospects for China-Iceland Energy Cooperation

Dear Ms. Jonina, President of Icelandic Chinese Trade Council (or ICTC),

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Good afternoon.

It is my great pleasure to be invited to attend the Seminar on Energy Cooperation between Iceland and China. ICTC has just conducted its annual meeting. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jonina and ICTC for their great efforts and contributions of promoting China-Iceland economic and trade relations over the past year. The embassy will continue to support the work of ICTC in the coming year and contribute to the development of bilateral ties.

I would also like to thank ICTC for holding the seminar today. Energy cooperation has been an important field of cooperation between China and Iceland. Our cooperation in geothermal energy utilization has lasted for decades with fruitful results, which has become a highlight in our bilateral relations. Since 1980s, more than 80 Chinese geothermal technicians have been trained in Iceland and become experts. In November 2006, Nova Oil Company of Sinopec and ARCTICGREEN Energy Corporation from Iceland jointly established Sinopec Green Energy Geothermal Development Co., ltd., which has consecutively carried out cooperative projects in Shanxi, Hebei and other places in China, and played a positive demonstration role. In December 2016, China and Iceland set up the Geothermal Technology Research and Development Cooperation Center in Beijing, and in 2018 the two countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the establishment of the geothermal working group, providing new platforms for bilateral cooperation. The two sides have also made breakthroughs in cooperation in the field of new energy in recent years. In July 2015, China Geely holding Group invested in Icelandic Carbon Recycling International (CRI) to promote clean energy and methanol vehicles, and this cooperation between the two sides continued to deepen remarkably. In November 2018, China Yutong Group’s electric buses entered Icelandic market with great success.

In the face of challenges of global climate change, cooperation between China and Iceland in the field of energy is of great significance. Building a green homeland is the common dream of mankind. Protecting the environment and coping with climate change require joint efforts of all countries in the world. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the construction of ecological civilization with various measures and remarkable progress achieved in implementing the green development strategy in an all-round way. In 2017, China's carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by about 46 percent compared with 2005. China's coal consumption accounted for 59 percent of the total energy consumption in 2018, 1.4 per cent lower than the previous year, while clean energy consumption accounted for 22.1per cent of total energy consumption, 1.3%up from the previous year. China will constantly optimize the energy structure by increasing the proportion of clean energy and strengthening environmental governance, so as to contribute to the building of a beautiful China and a beautiful world.

At present, China has entered a new era of development, and the energy cooperation between China and Iceland has also ushered in new opportunities. Here, I would like to put forward the following suggestions:

First, to deepen geothermal cooperation between the two countries. We should give full play to the platform of the Sino-Icelandic Geothermal working Group, expand the demonstration effect of the geothermal project in Xiongan New area, Hebei Province of China, make full use of the respective advantages of the two sides, constantly expand the scale and improve the level of cooperation.

Second, to actively consider using the "Belt and Road Initiative" platform to promote the implementation of geothermal development projects in third countries in order to expand the impact and benefit all parties.

Third, to promote cooperation in the fields of new energy vehicles, wind energy, hydro-power, and etc., expand the foundation of cooperation between the two sides for mutual benefits and win-win results.

Fourth, to expand cooperation in training and scientific research in the energy sector with the purpose of tapping complementary advantages and achieving common development.

China and Iceland enjoy bright future in energy cooperation. I hope that we work together and seize new opportunities, broad our minds and strive for further development, and contribute to the practical cooperation between our two countries.

Recently there have been widespread concerns over the new round of additional tariffs between China and the US. Some believe escalated disputes will bring more uncertainties to world economy. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the important information. It is the US that provoked the trade disputes, fired the first shot in raising tariffs, and repeatedly resorted to maximum pressuring. What China has done so far is entirely self-defense against the unreasonable acts of the US side. China does not want a “trade war” but it is not afraid of one and would fight one if necessary. By so doing, we are not only defending our own legitimate rights and interests, but also safeguarding multilateralism and free trade system.

The economic and trade relations between China and the US, the two biggest economies in the world, are of great significance to the two countries and the global economy. We hope the US will heed the international community's call of ration and justice, keenly grasp the situation, return to the right track and strive for a mutually beneficial agreement on the basis of mutual respect. China stays open to trade talks and is willing to address differences through dialogue and consultation .

Finally, I wish the seminar a great success! Thank you all!