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Bosnia-Herzegovina calls for deepening human interactions with China under the BRI

Kong Qi, Liu Ning, Jia Wenting, Chu Tianshu    People's Daily Online   08:34, September 10, 2019

"We have no alternative unless we work together on our common journey," said Zlatko Lagumdzija, former prime minister and former foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Taihe Civilizations Forum.

As a member of the BRI and “17+1” (Central and Eastern European Countries & China), Lagumdzija said that the BRI has provided tremendous opportunities for Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“I see BRI not only as a way to have better infrastructure, to have better roads but also as an opportunity to have much more trade, to have much more investment. And the most important thing is to have much more cooperation which is based on a mutual exchange of education, knowledge, culture, and understanding,” said Lagumdzija to People’s Daily Online. “So the BRI will make its mission where we can see all these three things together, infrastructure, business, and human interaction through culture and education.”

In addition, Lagumdzija expressed his agreement of President Xi Jinping’s proposal of building a community of a shared future. “The globe is becoming a more united community,” said Lagumdzija, “If we want to be part of the shared planet, we have to be promoting that philosophy in our own countries. The world simply has no chance without a shared future.”

Since last year, Bosnia-Herzegovina has granted visa-free access to Chinese visitors, and the number of tourists and business people is increasing in both directions. He expects more human interactions between the two countries. As the first prime minister who came to China in 2002, he said that the two countries shared very strong relation in terms of economy which is mainly driven by the energy sectors and road construction of China’s companies supported by the Chinese government, and he expected that the two countries could enter the next stage and enhance bilateral ties on people-to-people exchange including tourism, education and culture.

Zlatko Lagumdzija, former prime minister and former foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina. (Photo provided by Taihe Institute)

Speaking of China’s changes and development over the past 70 years, Lagumdzija said he was amazed by China’s tremendous contribution to the world economy as well as in science and technology. “China is the only country in the last 70 years that actually eradicated so much misery and created the large portion in society, the so-called middle class, people who can really plan the future for themselves and their kids to have a better life, better education, a better job and simply have better future.”

Most importantly, Lagumdzija believed that China’s success and stability convey the signal of helping everyone go forward. “That’s what the BRI is about,” he said.

Lagumdzija also expressed his best wishes for the coming 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and he hoped that China will continue fighting for the shared future, for the shared planet and shared societies.

Themed with "Science Culture, Future Ethics and Common Values" and initiated by Taihe Institute, this year’s Taihe Civilizations Forum attracts about 500 top experts from various fields worldwide.