ㄑ Belt and Road ㄑ Opinion

China-Arab relations advance amid opportunities, challenges: official

Belt & Road
China-Arab relations are developing well in the new era amid challenges and opportunities, a high-level Chinese official has said.

XinhuaUpdated: July 9, 2019

China-Arab relations are developing well in the new era amid challenges and opportunities, a high-level Chinese official has said.

Over the past year, China-Arab relations have achieved satisfactory development, Li Chengwen, ambassador for China-Arab States Cooperation Forum Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"On July 10 last year, the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) was held successfully and China-Arab relations were enhanced to a future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development, which indicates that China-Arab relations have entered a historic new stage," Li said.

Over the past year, exchanges of high-level visits between the two sides have played irreplaceable roles in boosting and guiding mutual political trust; China-Arab joint construction of the Belt and Road (B&R) has scored remarkable achievements and bilateral B&R cooperation in such areas as economic zones and large projects has kept forging ahead while the construction of the CASCF mechanism has proceeded smoothly, he said.

Facing the major changes and severe challenges in the current international and regional situations, it is imperative for both sides to strengthen coordination in promoting peace and calling for stability, Li said.

Since the beginning of this year, the tension in the Gulf region has been escalating, the Palestine issue is turning more complicated, some countries in the region are mired in turbulence, and the situation in the Middle East faces more complex changes, testing the flexibility and wisdom of all parties, he said.

Li believed that China and Arab countries are developing countries and it is particularly important for the two sides to support each other over the issues concerning their respective core interests and major concerns, adding that China and Arab countries enjoy good, long-term cooperation in this regard.

He suggested that the two sides tap the existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation mechanisms, strengthen communication, and make more efforts to push for peace talks, uphold multilateralism, fairness and justice, and oppose unilateralism and bullying.

On China-Arab cooperation for development, Li stressed that the two sides need to strengthen practical cooperation so as to create more benefits for their peoples.

To that end, the official put forward four proposals.

First, the two sides should know more about each other's need for development and create more comfortable policy environments through strengthening the docking of their development policies, strategies and actions.

Second, the two sides should tap the roles of both government and business better and push for the implementation of various cooperation projects, especially large projects.

Third, the two sides should advance bilateral people-to-people and cultural dialogue and exchanges, and strengthen non-governmental contacts.

Fourth, the two sides should continue to step up the construction of the CASCF and make the forum play a better role in guiding China-Arab relations.