China and Arab states to advance strategic partnership to higher level

By He Yin, People’s Daily

The fifth China-Arab States Expo, which concluded in Yinchuan, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, on August 22, has witnessed plenty of fruits, fully demonstrating the vigorous efforts of China and Arab states to jointly promote peace, cooperation and development for mutual benefits and win-win results, build the Belt and Road with high-quality, and advance China-Arab strategic partnership to a higher level.

The China-Arab States Expo serves as an important platform for the two sides to advance the construction of the Belt and Road. The previous four China-Arab States Expos attracted more than 5,000 enterprises from 112 countries and regions and witnessed the signing of agreements for 936 cooperation projects.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent congratulatory letter to each of the expos since 2013, which reflects the great importance China attaches to developing ties with Arab countries.

In his letters, Xi stressed that China and Arab states are good friends with mutual trust and good partners walking hand in hand on the path to realize common development.

During the construction of the Belt and Road, China is willing to promote shared opportunities with other countries, including Arab states, and jointly promote peaceful develpment with them, said Xi.

Xi has expressed great expectations of China-Arab cooperation in his congratulatory letters, which infused confidence and impetus into the two sides’ efforts to jointly create a bright future.

The China-Arab States Expo is the epitome of the two sides’ vision of seeking common development that conforms to the trend of the times.

China and Arab states are natural partners in Belt and Road cooperation. China has signed BRI cooperation documents with 19 Arab states and the League of Arab States.

As China and Arab states push forward high-quality construction of the Belt and Road in recent years, cooperation between the two sides in various fields have been continuously deepened. Even when faced with global challenges posed by profound changes unseen in a century and the havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 epidemic, China-Arab cooperation and BRI construction haven’t stalled, but showed strong resilience and vitality.

In 2020, the trade volume between China and Arab states totaled nearly $240 billion, which made China the largest trading partner of Arab states. In the first half of this year, volume of the bilateral trade between the two sides reached $144.27 billion, up 25.7 percent year on year.

China and Arab states have jointly completed the construction of the tallest skyscraper in Africa, or the Iconic Tower, the world’s largest solar-thermal power station and the cleanest coal-fired power plant in the Middle East.

Through integration of their development strategies, China and Arab states have made their dreams of national rejuvenation closely connected.

The fifth China-Arab States Expo, which set up six offline exhibition areas for such fields as digital economy, clean energy, new materials, green food, health care and cross-border e-commerce, demonstrated the two sides’ determination to take the lead in expanding cooperation in emerging fields.

According to a report on the development of China-Arab states economic and trade relations released at the expo, China and Arab states speeded up cooperation in exploring digital transformation last year.

Besides cooperation in traditional energy, they have made clean energy and technology new growth points in bilateral cooperation. Renewable energy development, energy-driven poverty reduction and governance will become new highlights of their cooperation, said the report.

China and Middle Eastern countries are jointly tackling climate change and facilitating energy transition. For the purpose, they have actively carried out cooperation in clean energy such as solar and nuclear energy, promoted the diversification of energy structure, improved environmental protection and governance capabilities, and jointly created a “Green Silk Road” in the Middle East.

By promoting exchanges, enhancing mutual understanding and carrying out cooperation, China and Arab states have set an example of international economic and trade cooperation and infused confidence into world’s economic recovery, said Nasser Bouchiba, president of the Africa-China Cooperation Association for Development in Morocco.

The China-Arab States Expo represents a step that the two sides have taken toward pursuing solidarity and cooperation and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

China and Arab countries have worked together in the battle against the COVID-19, providing an example of surmounting the crisis through solidarity, Xi pointed out.

Participants of the fifth China-Arab States Expo spoke highly of the two sides’ collaboration and mutual assistance amid the epidemic.

China has shipped nearly 100 million doses of Chinese vaccines to Arab states in the form of assistance or exports, and worked with the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in joint filling and production of vaccines.

During the post-pandemic era, China and Arab states will also further investment cooperation in the health sector, including the procurement of medical materials and the production of vaccines, which are expected to facilitate regional countries’ efforts to defeat the virus and resume economy.

China provides the most prominent experience that Arab countries can learn from to revitalize the economy after the pandemic, noted Kamal Hassan Ali, Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.

An Arab poet once wrote, when you turn to the sun, you will see hope. For China and Arab states, their strategic partnership has brought new hope to them.

Since they established a future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development over the past three years, China and Arab states have constantly broadened their cooperation and harvested more and more tangible fruits from cooperation.

It’s believed that marching forward together along the path of win-win cooperation is a vivid reflection of the two sides’ practice of jointly building a community with a shared future for China and Arab states for the new era.

Official People's Daily International