Arab News, Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018 | Shawwal 27, 1439
China, Arab states agree to enhance cooperation under new strategic partnership
The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum began its
eighth ministerial meeting in Beijing on Tuesday to discuss ways to strengthen
The Saudi delegation was led by Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, who is chairman
of the current session.
In a speech at the opening ceremony, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced his
intention to hold an international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, and expressed his support for the two-state solution and the Arab
China and Arab countries have agreed to establish
a “future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common
development,” Xi said.
Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said: “We believe that
boosting mechanisms of cooperation between us will contribute to achieving the
supreme interests of our Arab nation and our friends, and to enhancing
historical relations between the two sides, which we are keen to develop and
promote in all fields.”
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the ministerial session
reflects the two sides’ keenness to deepen Arab-Chinese ties.
He urged China to continue its support for Arab issues, foremost among them the
On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, Al-Jubeir delivered a lecture to
the Middle East Studies Association.
He said: “Saudi-Chinese relations have been deepened by both countries’ belief
in key principles, notably respecting the sovereignty of states and
non-interference in their affairs.”
“Saudi Arabia launched its Vision 2030 reform plan to bolster the economy by
reducing dependence on oil, attracting investors, and improving the transparency
and performance of government institutions,” he said.
Vision 2030 also aims to create a climate of tolerance and moderation, confront
extremism, and enable Saudi women to be partners in moving the Kingdom forward,
Saudi Arabia considers itself an essential partner in China’s Belt and Road
Initiative (BRI), which will have a great economic and social impact on the
world, and will contribute to regional security and stability, Al-Jubeir said.
Riyadh is consulting with Beijing on cooperation regarding the BRI, and on
encouraging the Middle East to play a key role in the project, he added.
Al-Jubeir pointed to both sides’ keenness to intensify scientific exchanges, as
the Kingdom has sent students to China for education and to become bridges
between the two countries.
There are hundreds of Saudi students in Chinese universities, and the Kingdom
has opened a branch of the King Abdul Aziz Public Library in Beijing to
encourage exchanges between scholars, researchers and students in both
countries, he said.