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Speech at the China International Conference in Commemoration of 60th Anniversary of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries By Mr. Gian Franco Terenzi

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May 15, 2014
Former Captains Regent of San Marino, President of San Marino-China Friendship Association

Your Excellency President Xi Jinping,

It is my great honor to be invited to the China International Conference in Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) today, which indicates that CPAFFC fully recognizes the importance of the work done by San Marino-China Friendship Association (SCFA).

I have the privilege of being the President of the SCFA for up to 26 years. During these years, the SCFA has actively carried out many activities to promote the understanding of Chinese culture among people in San Marino, including hosting Chinese painting and art craft exhibitions, Chinese folk song and traditional dance performances, as well as Chinese delicacies display. We have sent several delegations to China to meet with Chinese entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life. We have also received many Chinese delegations from different provinces and cities.

Among these Chinese delegations, I have to make a special note of President Xi’s visit in 2003 at my invitation. It was such a great honor for us to receive President Xi in San Marino. We still vividly remember that visit which has further promoted our friendship.

My first contact with China can be traced back to 1988 when I made my first visit to China as Captains Regent of San Marino at the invitation of then Chinese President Li Xiannian. At the welcome banquet, President Li stressed that all countries, big or small, should be equal, which impressed me so much. I beard his words in mind and started an idea of setting up a China-friendly organization. Right after my visit, I actively promoted the founding of the SCFA and have held the position as its President ever after. In the past 26 years, the SCFA has stood the test of the ever-changing international and Sino-European situation, resolutely supported Chinese people as always and remained as a reliable mainstream China-friendly force in Europe. We always hold the view that Taiwan is forever an inseparable part of China''s territory, support China’s fundamental policy of “peaceful reunification and one country, two systems”, and strongly oppose all kinds of separatism. In 2005, I made positive efforts to convince the people of all circles in San Marino, and successfully rejected the Dalai Lama''s attempt to visit San Marino when he was already in Europe. 

I’ve also promoted an initiative to issue stamps commemorating the 55th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China and the 50th anniversary of the CPAFFC. San Marino, the microstate far away in Europe, has set precedents one after another for China, for the Chinese people, and for our friendship.

It was my great pleasure to invite a CPAFFC delegation led by President Li Xiaolin to visit San Marino in September 2013. All delegation members were deeply touched by the hospitality and friendship of our local people.

They enjoyed a pleasant and memorable stay in San Marino.

Since my first visit in 1988, I’ve been to China for more than 40 times. My deep and sincere friendship to China and the Chinese people has never stopped. To me, China is my second home.

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