Foreign Ministry Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on Premier Wen Jiabao's Visit to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar and Attendance at the Opening Ceremony of the Fifth World Future Energy Summit
Premier Wen Jiabao will pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar and attend the opening ceremony of the fifth World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the UAE from January 14 to 19, 2012. On January 11, the Foreign Ministry held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media where Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun introduced the background, main activities and significance of Wen's state visit and attendance at the summit and took questions of correspondents. Deputy Director-General of the Information Department of the Foreign Ministry Tian Qi chaired the briefing.
Zhai said that the international situation at present is undergoing the most profound and complicated changes since the Cold War, new problems and challenges keep popping up and global governance becomes more difficult. In particular, the dramatic changes in the situation of West Asia and North Africa have become another significant historical event following the upheaval in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the September 11 incident, the Afghan and Iraqi wars and the international financial crisis and will exert far-reaching, long-term and complex impact upon the situation of countries in West Asia and North Africa, the entire regional landscape and even the overall international political and economic situation. Both China and Arab states are developing countries and face the tasks of seeking development, stability and peace. Over the years, China has maintained stable relations with the Arab states and the Islamic world. The two sides coordinate and cooperate soundly on many major regional and international issues. China always regards the Arab states as good friends, good partners and good brothers and is willing to continue to consolidate friendship with them and promote the development of China-Arab strategic partnership featured by comprehensive cooperation and common growth.
He pointed out that Wen's visit to the three Gulf countries will be the first state visit paid by the Chinese national leaders this year and will significantly deepen China's relations with the three countries, strengthen its cooperation with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and drive forward its relations with the Arab states and the Islamic world. Wen will exchange in-depth views with leaders of the three countries on the bilateral relations and the regional and international issues of common concern.
I. Visit to Saudi Arabia
Zhai noted that Saudi Arabia is a major Arab and Islamic state. It hosts the headquarters of the GCC and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and holds the rotating presidency of the GCC. The last visit of a Chinese premier to Saudi Arabia was paid 20 years ago. In recent years, China-Saudi Arabia relations have developed rapidly and comprehensively, leaders of both countries maintained close contacts and the bilateral economic and trade cooperation made fruitful results. From January to November 2011, the bilateral trade volume reached US$58.1 billion, up 50% over the same period of previous year. The bilateral exchanges in the fields of science and technology, education and culture grow more dynamic. China and Saudi Arabia established strategic and friendly relations in 2008 and share the strong desire of strengthening the bilateral relations and promoting cooperation under new circumstances. During the visit, Wen will meet with King and Prime Minister Abdullah, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Naif, Secretary-General of the GCC Zayani and Secretary-General of the OIC Ihsanoglu respectively. The two governments will release a joint statement to lift up China-Saudi Arabia strategic partnership and deepen cooperation. The two sides will sign a number of cooperation agreements related with economy and trade, education and culture. Wen will also attend a number of cultural activities.
II. Visit to the UAE
He said that Wen's visit will be the first one paid by a Chinese premier to the UAE since the two countries established diplomatic ties. The bilateral relations have gained long-term progress since the two countries established diplomatic ties 27 years ago. The two sides maintain frequent high-level exchanges and economic and trade cooperation. In the first 11 months of 2011, the bilateral trade volume totaled US$31.9 billion. The bilateral cooperation has been expanded in the fields of infrastructure, finance and culture. Leaders of both sides share a high level of consensus on deepening the bilateral cooperation in all areas. Wen will meet with President Khalifa and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, hold talks with Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler Mohammed, pay field visit to China-UAE cooperation project and attend some cultural exchanges. The two governments will sign the joint statement on establishing the strategic partnership, which will serve as the guiding document of bilateral relations. The two sides will sign a number of financial, energy and sports cooperation documents.
Zhai pointed out that Wen will participate in the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit which is a fairly influential international event on renewable energy in Abu Dhabi and deliver a speech. He will also attend the opening ceremony of the fourth entrepreneurs' conference & investment seminar of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF). The event is one of the most influential institutional activities under CASCF.
III. Visit to Qatar
Zhai said that it will be the first visit of a Chinese premier to Qatar since the two countries established diplomatic ties. The bilateral relations have developed steadily in recent years. The bilateral trade volume in the first 11 months of 2011 increased to US$5.1 billion, up 72% over the same period of previous year. The purpose of this visit is to deepen mutual understanding and promote mutually beneficial cooperation. During the visit, Wen will meet with Emir of Qatar Hamad, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad and Crown Prince Tamim and exchange opinions with Qatar leaders on deepening the bilateral friendly cooperation and other issues of common concern.
Zhai lastly expressed confidence that Wen's visit will achieve full success with the joint efforts of all parties concerned.