Tang Jiaxuan Addresses the Opening Ceremony of the Second Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum
On May 31, 2006, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the second Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
Tang reviewed the 5-decade-long history of China-Arab cooperation. He said that the relations between China and Arab states have already entered a mature and stable period. We have accumulated valuable experiences from practice, i.e., respecting each other and treating each other as equals politically, achieving mutual benefit and win-win results through cooperation economically, and learning the merits of each other's culture to offset the demerits. The friendship between China and Arab states is a good model for contemporary international relations and a major contribution to peace and development of the world.
Tang said that profound changes have taken place in international situations. Seeking peace, pursuing development, and promoting cooperation have stricken root in the hearts of people. All countries are committed to safeguarding regional and global stability and focus on developing their economy, improving people's welfare and enhancing national strength. Shared goals and common tasks make it more urgent and important than ever before to develop China-Arab relations. Tang put forward a 4-point proposal on the establishment of a new type of partnership between China and Arab states: first, both China and Arab states should actively promote exchanges at all levels and become friendly partners enjoying mutual trust. Both sides should strengthen exchanges between leaders, consolidate cooperation between governments, enhance exchanges between parliaments and political parties, and reinforce people-to-people exchanges in all spheres and at all levels; second, both China and Arab states should continue to deepen economic cooperation and become partners seeking common development. Both sides should strive to expand the scale of trade, encourage mutual investment, deepen dialogue and cooperation in the energy field and expand cooperation in such areas as training of human resources; third, both China and Arab states should further expand friendly exchanges and become partners promoting the harmony of different civilizations; fourth, both China and Arab states should strengthen coordination in international affairs and become partners safeguarding global peace, security and stability. Both sides should reinforce cooperation in non-traditional security areas and promote South-North dialogue and South-South cooperation.
Tang pointed out that today's world is yet not tranquil. Unstable and uncertain factors still exist throughout the world including the Middle East and the Asian Pacific regions. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are endangering global peace and stability. To strengthen coordination between China and Arab states which are two important forces in the developing world on major regional and international affairs benefits peace and stability in the Middle East, the Asian Pacific region and the world at large. China will, as always, support the Arab people in their just cause of resuming their legitimate national interests and rights, support resolving the Middle East issue through negations on the basis of relevant UN resolutions and the "land-for-peace" principle, and support the peace initiative put forward by Arab states to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.
Tang said that the China-Arab Cooperation Forum has become an important mechanism to strengthen the collective dialogue and cooperation between China and Arab states and is showing a strong vitality. The Chinese side wishes to promote the building of the forum through this ministerial meeting, implement cooperation in all areas within the framework of the forum and advance the new type of partnership between China and Arab states.
Tang finally indicated that it is in the fundamental interest of both sides to further develop the friendly cooperation between China and Arab states and conducive to promoting global peace and development. The Chinese side would like to work together with Arab states to compose a new chapter of China-Arab friendly cooperation.
The second Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum is held from May 31 to June 1 in Beijing. It is the first time that the ministerial meeting is held in China. The meeting is co-chaired by Li Zhaoxing, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Muhammad, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the United Arabic Emirates (UAE) and concurrent Rotating Chair of the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers and Moussa Amre, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS), and attended by foreign ministers, ministers and representatives of 22 Arab states and officials of relevant Chinese departments. The meeting will focus upon discussing the connotation of establishing a new type of partnership between China and Arab states and reviewing the priority areas and projects of cooperation of the forum in the coming 2 years. A number of cooperation documents will also be signed during the meeting.