Tsinghua Ambassador Talks--12 November 2015

On November 12, the Ambassador of Romania to China H.E. Doru Romulus Costea delivered a lecture entitled “Romania – 25 Years of Democracy …and Counting” at the i.Center in the new Lee Shau Kee Science and Technology building. His lecture was part of the Tsinghua Ambassador Talks, a student-led forum that provides an opportunity for Tsinghua IR students to directly engage with the highest-level foreign government representatives in Beijing on political, economic, and social issues.

Ambassador Costea began with the introduction of the tumultuous democratization process of Romania. Located in crossroad between Central and South-Eastern Europe, Romania has been involved in many of the major conflicts since its early history. During the Cold War, Romania began its slow transition from a socialist country to a democratic one. The crowning of this process was the accession of Romania to the European Union in 2007.

Ambassador Costea later on elaborated on the close ties between Romania and China, which have established diplomatic relations 66 years ago. The relation intensified particularly in 1968, after Romania denounced the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union. While the then-socialist state of Romania was under scrutiny by the Soviet Union, China’s prompt assurance of the security of the Romanian people deterred the Soviets from engaging any military action.

The relation between Romania and China has since expanded to include economic and social cooperation. Bilateral trade between the two countries has soared from US$ 704 millions in 1898 to US$ 2.11 billions in 2015. Ambassador Costea highlighted the common values of “Independence, Sovereignty, and Solidarity” as the basis of the true friendship between two countries.

The lecture was concluded with a Q&A session, in which participants raised questions on various pressing contemporary issues; among others, on the Ukrainian crisis, the European refugee crisis, and on the Chinese “One Belt, One Road“ initiative.