China to step up cooperation with Arab states under BRI, GDI, GSI
Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will continue to enhance cooperation with Arab states under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI).
He made the remarks during his meetings with Arab states' leaders ahead of the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit, both of which kicked off on Friday in the Saudi capital Riyadh.
In his talks with leaders of Arab states, Xi has constantly emphasized the vital importance of sovereignty and territorial integrity, economic development and international cooperation.
President Xi put forward the GSI while delivering a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022. Xi advocated six principles, including that countries should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, reject the cold war mentality and oppose unilateralism so that countries can together promote security for all in the world.
In his meetings with over ten political leaders of Arab states, including Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Kuwait, Tunisia, Iraq, Xi said China sees Arab states as important forces in the multipolar world and attaches great importance to developing strategic partnerships with them.
The current international and regional situations are undergoing profound and complex changes, and China firmly supports all Arab states in safeguarding their national sovereignty, security and stability, and backs the Arab world in following the development paths that suit their national conditions. China also unswervingly opposes external interference in their internal affairs, Xi said.
Xi said that no matter how the international and regional situation changes, China always firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore the legitimate rights and interests of their nation. The international community should prioritize the Palestinian issue on the international agenda, keep to the direction of the two-state solution and the principle of "land for peace," and facilitate the resumption of peace talks based on relevant UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, the Chinese president added.
He also said that China supports all parties in Sudan in continuing to push for a steady political transition through dialogue and consultation, opposes interference by external forces in Sudan's internal affairs, and supports all factions in Iraq to strengthen unity and cooperation.
President Xi proposed the GDI in September 2021 in the face of the severe shocks of COVID-19. He believes that the world should put development high on the global macro policy agenda and strengthen policy coordination among major economies to better ensure policy continuity, consistency and sustainability. In 2013, China launched the BRI to enhance global connectivity, communication and cooperation, and foster a more balanced and equitable world system.
In his meetings with Arab states' leaders, Xi pledged that China would further work with Arab states to deepen and expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields, including energy, infrastructure, medical care, aviation, finance, 5G communication, e-commerce and marine economy.
He pointed out several countries' national development strategies, including Saudi Vision 2030, Middle East Green Initiative, Kuwait Vision 2035, Djibouti Vision 2035, Qatar National Vision 2030 and Emerging Comoros Plan for 2030, saying that China will further align China's development policies and the implementation of the outcomes of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and Forum on China-Africa Cooperation with these states' development strategies, to bring cooperation between China and Arab states to a new and higher level.
Xi said China would continue to provide developing Arab states with assistance within its capacity, and encourages Chinese enterprises to invest so as to improve local people's livelihood and boost their economic and social development.
During his meetings with Arab states' leaders, Xi pledged that China would continue to cooperate with its Arab counterparts in fields including anti-terrorism and poverty eradication.
Over the years, China has assisted Mauritania in advancing road, bridge, hospital and other major projects that benefit people's wellbeing, Xi emphasized, adding that China will continue to encourage Chinese enterprises to take an active part in Mauritania's energy, infrastructure and other sectors to bring benefit to the Mauritanian people.
Acknowledging the Somali government's task of fighting terrorists, Xi said China supports the Somali government in enhancing its ability to maintain stability and fight against terrorism.
Noting China has carried out a number of health, sports and human resources training projects in recent years in Tunisia, Xi said China is ready to steadily advance cooperation with Tunisia in such areas as healthcare, infrastructure and high and new technologies, expand exchanges between human resources as well as local and non-governmental exchanges, and welcome more marketable products and specialties from Tunisia to China.
China and Arab states have strengthened cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Bahrain was one of the first countries in the world to approve a Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
China would also like to enhance medical and health cooperation, and promote the Chinese language education in Bahrain, Xi said.
(Cover: A view of Egyptian and Chinese construction site at the ongoing works at the business and finance district of Egypt's New Administrative Capital, August 3, 2021. /CFP)