BEIJING — The establishment of a “future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development” between China and Arab states was a landmark moment which heralds a new historic chapter for the relationship between the two sides, said State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 10.
Wang made the remarks when chairing the eighth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF).
He said, to date, China has established strategic partnerships or comprehensive strategic partnerships with 11 Arab states. China is wiling to elevate ties with more Arab states and support the Arab League (AL) in its capacity building.
Meanwhile, China and the Arab states have increasingly extended their scale of pragmatic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. China is the second largest trading partner of the Arab world, with a direct investment stock of $15 billion.
China is stepping up its efforts to further open up and the Arabic countries are accelerating industrialization and economic diversification.
The two processes echo one another perfectly, Wang said.
Having started work on industrial parks in Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman, China plans to connect the construction and management of the industrial parks with Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port, the port of Djibouti, and the Port Said in Egypt, said Wang.
Wang expressed his hope that trade flows, business clusters and regional influence in the Middle East would be improved.
Regarding the Palestinian issue, saying it is the root of the Middle East issue, Wang stressed China supports the establishment of a fully sovereign, independent Palestine based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
China supports Palestine in getting more involved in the international community and the convening of a new international conference on the issue, Wang added.
Calling the Arab states “real leading roles in the Middle East affair,” Wang stressed any arrangement in the region should show respect to the interests and appeals of the Arab nation.
The three outcome documents approved during the meeting, including the Beijing Declaration, a Declaration of Action on Sino-Arab Belt and Road Cooperation, and an action plan guiding the development of the CASCF from 2018 to 2020, depict a clear and systematic blueprint for the development of Sino-Arab relations in the coming period, Wang said.
He added, as the biggest developing country in the world, China will always be a member of this group.
“No matter what changes take place in the international situation, China will always stand with developing countries, and will be a reliable friend and sincere partner of developing countries forever,” he said.