Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Poland, Sunday, for a three-day visit, following his highly successful visit to Serbia. In an article published in the leading Polish newspaper, Rzeczpospolita, on June 17, Xi referred to Copernicus, Madame Curie, and Chopin as Poles who have made great contributions to mankind’s progress, and who are known and respected in China. He also noted the Polish Jesuit priest and scientist Michal Boym (a loner who tried to defend the last Ming Emperor in the 1640s against the Manchurian Qing, but who also published works on Asian flora and fauna).
Xi praised Poland’s historic collaboration with China, one of the first to recognize the PRC, and the first Central Asia country to join the AIIB. China and Poland are each other’s leading trading partners in their respective regions, with two-way trade of over $17 billion in 2015. There are five Confucius Institutes in Poland, and Xi said that a growing number of Chinese universities are teaching the Polish language.
He pointed out that Poland is on the crossroads of the New Silk Road and the ancient Amber Road (the north-south trade route from St. Petersburg and the Baltic nations through Poland to Venice), and that several Chinese rail routes to Europe either terminate in, or pass through, Poland.
Xi and President Andrzej Duta signed about 40 deals and MOUs on Monday, mostly in construction, raw materials, energy, finance, and science. Duta said he hoped that Poland would be China’s “gateway to Europe,” pointing both to the Gdansk port and the land ports for the rail connections.
Xi and Duta welcomed a train arriving in Warsaw on Monday from China. Polish freight group PKP Cargo operates 20 trains per week between Poland and China, each trip taking 11-14 days, twice as fast as ship and far cheaper than air.
Xi and Duta agreed to upgrade their relationship to a “comprehensive strategic partnership.”
It is notable that, although Poland has been pulled into Obama’s geopolitical military confrontation with Russia, neither Russia nor China view the world geopolitically, but rather as win-win relationships with all nations — what Helga Zepp-LaRouche calls the common aims of mankind. Thus Xi is going next to Tashkent for an SCO summit, where he will meet with Vladimir Putin, and Putin will go on to Beijing after the SCO for a state visit to China.