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Xi urges greater efforts to build China-Arab community with shared future

31 May 2024

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on China and Arab states to deepen cooperation and step up the building of a China-Arab community with a shared future.

Xi made the remarks in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the 10th ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF).

CHINA-ARAB RELATIONS SCALING NEW HEIGHTS

China-Arab relations have kept scaling new heights since the beginning of the new century. At the first China-Arab States Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in December 2022, China and Arab states agreed to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era.

Xi said that China is satisfied with the progress that has been made in delivering on the first China-Arab States Summit's outcomes. China will work with the Arab side to enhance the role of the summit in providing strategic guidance for continued "leapfrog growth" of China-Arab relations.

Xi announced that China will host the second China-Arab States Summit in 2026, which is set to be another milestone in China-Arab relations.

As changes unseen in a century unfold rapidly across the world, both China and Arab states strive to accomplish their historical missions of national rejuvenation and faster national development. Building a China-Arab community with a shared future is a strong statement of the common desire for a new era of China-Arab relations and a better future for the world, Xi said.

Xi said China will work with the Arab side to make China-Arab relations a model for maintaining world peace and stability, a fine example of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, a paradigm of harmonious coexistence between civilizations, and a model for promoting good global governance.

It is believed that the strategic mutual trust between China and Arab states will be further consolidated, cooperation in various fields will be comprehensively promoted, and the building of a China-Arab community with a shared future will see more solid steps, said Li Chen, ambassador for CASCF affairs of China's Foreign Ministry.

FIVE COOPERATION FRAMEWORKS

At the first China-Arab States Summit in 2022, Xi put forward "eight major cooperation initiatives" for practical cooperation.

Early harvests have been achieved in all the "eight major cooperation initiatives," Xi said, adding that China is ready to work with the Arab side on that basis to put in place "five cooperation frameworks" to step up the building of a China-Arab community with a shared future.

The five frameworks consist of a more dynamic framework for innovation, an expanded framework for investment and finance cooperation, a more multifaceted framework for energy cooperation, a more balanced framework for mutually beneficial economic and trade ties, and a broader framework for people-to-people exchanges.

China will build with the Arab side 10 joint laboratories in such areas as life and health, artificial intelligence (AI), green and low-carbon development, modern agriculture, and space and information technology. The two sides will also enhance cooperation on AI to make it empower the real economy and to promote a broad-based global governance system on AI, Xi said.

China is ready to establish with the Arab side an industry and investment cooperation forum, Xi said, adding that China supports closer cooperation between financial institutions from the two sides, and welcomes Arab banks to join the Cross-border Interbank Payment System.

China will further enhance strategic cooperation with the Arab side on oil and gas, and is ready to work with the Arab side on new energy technology R&D and equipment production, according to Xi.

China stands ready to accelerate the negotiations on bilateral and regional free trade agreements, welcomes active participation of the Arab side in the China International Import Expo, and is willing to expand import of non-energy products from the Arab side, especially agricultural products, Xi noted.

China is ready to establish with the Arab side the China-Arab Center of Global Civilization Initiative, Xi said, adding that China plans to work with the Arab side to achieve the goal of 10 million two-way visits of tourists in the next five years.

The development of Arab-China relations has broad prospects and great potential, and both sides have a sincere desire to further enhance relations and strengthen cooperation. It is believed that the work and achievements of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum will have a pragmatic and positive role in promoting the development of both sides in various fields, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said.

STICKING TO TWO-STATE SOLUTION

The Middle East is a land bestowed with broad prospects for development, but the war is still raging on it. Since last October, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has escalated drastically, throwing the people into tremendous sufferings, Xi said.

He stressed that war should not continue indefinitely, justice should not be absent forever, and commitment to the two-State solution should not be wavered at will.

China firmly supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. It supports Palestine's full membership in the U.N., and supports a more broad-based, authoritative and effective international peace conference, he added.

China will continue to provide assistance to help ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and support post-conflict reconstruction, and support the work of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in providing emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza, Xi said.

China has fully implemented the Global Security Initiative, actively promoted the political settlement of regional hotspot issues, and brokered a historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a move that not only helped ease tensions within the region but also catalyzed a wave of reconciliations among Arab states and within the broader region, said Wu Sike, China's former special envoy to the Middle East.

Bahrain highly appreciates China's firm support for the just cause of the Arabs, especially on the Palestinian question, its tremendous efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people in Gaza and its full support for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa said.

The 10th ministerial conference of the CASCF adopted the Beijing Declaration, the CASCF execution plan for 2024-2026, and a China-Arab states joint statement on the Palestinian issue.

During the conference, China also signed a number of bilateral and multilateral cooperation documents with the participating countries and the General Secretariat of the Arab League. 

Source : xinhua

Author : xinhua

Location : Beijing

Event : interview

Date : 31 May 2024