Romanian ambassador in Beijing Viorel Isticioaia-Budura has been entrusted with managing the relations with Asia at the European External Action Service, a decision he says ‘is a legitimate performance of the Romanian diplomacy, an excellence and recognition award’, that confirms it can be part of the current process for reconstructing the European diplomacy and making it more efficient.
In an interview with Evenimentul Zilei on Thursday, Isticioaia-Budura said Romania has gained its expertise in 61 years of diplomatic relations characterised by continuity and solidity. ‘We have gained things in time that first and foremost mean the lasting establishment of institutional relations on a governmental level, for the very reason that a similar number of dialogue mechanisms between the EU and China have taken shape at this moment, there are nearly 58 such mechanisms’, the Romanian diplomat said.
He is confident that ‘many of the elements of experience gained in the political and diplomatic consultations between Romania and China, in the conduct of the economic and commercial actions, of the trade department in particular, have something that can contribute in the EU multilateral context to making these EU-China mechanisms more efficient’.
Isticioaia-Budura stressed that China already is a player that accounts for 17 percent of the European Union’s import demand and, at the same time, China is the top external supplier for the EU market, with up to one and a half billion transactions a day.
The Romanian diplomat told Evenimentul Zilei that another file of the EU-China relations refers the international monetary and financial stability, given that both the euro and the Chinese yuan are topics of interest. ‘The same as the Chinese national is interested in the euro’s stability, the European citizen is also interested in China’s money-financial policy. The European Union pays much attention to this’, he said.
With respect to a change of attitude towards China, Isticioaia-Budura underscored that China had been spoken of very seldom previously, but now each major European meeting speaks of the relation with China and the other major Asian players – Japan, South Korea, India. ‘This represents the manner in which the European Union understands to work on these files that bear relevance not only in a regional, trans-continental context, but for the global developments too’, he said.
Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, 58, is a renowned expert in Chinese history, language, literature and culture, he is the author of books about the Chinese civilisation. He has been working at the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry since 1984, after having studied philosophy and history at university in Romania and the Chinese language at Nankai University in China.
He began his career as a diplomat in Beijing, in 1985 and has been Romania’s ambassador to China since 2002. Isticioaia-Budura was also posted as a diplomat to Tokyo, in 1992 and Seoul, as Romania’s ambassador to South Korea over 2000-2002.