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Xi Jinping Holds Talks with King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-khalifa Stressing to Build China-Bahrain Friendly Cooperative Relations of Long-term Stability

On Sept. 16, 2013, President Xi Jinping held talks at the Great Hall of the People with the King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-khalifa. The two heads of state had an in-depth exchange of views on deepening China-Bahrain relations as well as international and regional issues of mutual interest and reached important consensus.

Xi Jinping expressed that Bahrain is an important cooperative partner of China in the Middle East and Gulf region. While developing bilateral relations, we have always adhered to mutual respect and sincerity. China and Bahrain have become good friends of mutual trust and good partners of sincere cooperation. In face of the profound and complex changes in the current international and regional situations, the two countries should be jointly committed to building friendly cooperative relations of long-term stability. Xi Jinping proposed:

First, to enhance political mutual trust. Both sides should support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests. China respects Bahrain's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, supports Bahrain's efforts to safeguard national stability so as to achieve lasting peace and stability of the country.

Second, to deepen practical cooperation. Both sides can, in accordance with their respective development strategies, promote cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, finance, communications, agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery, new energy and infrastructure construction. China is ready to train more professionals for Bahrain.

Third, to expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges. China will set up a Confucius Institute in Bahrain and hold with Bahrain the "Culture Week" in each other's country. China will strengthen people-to-people exchanges with Bahrain, especially between the youth. The Chinese side is actively considering the listing of Bahrain as an outbound tourist destination country for Chinese citizens.

Fourth, to keep close multilateral cooperation. Hope both sides will strengthen cooperation under the framework of China-Arab Cooperation Forum and work together to push for the development of China-Arab States relations. China is ready to maintain communication and coordination with Bahrain on major global issues and regional hotspot issues, to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability as well as the interests of developing countries.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are important partners of each other for political, economic, trade and energy cooperation. Both sides should establish close, all-dimensional friendly cooperative relations, which is conducive to the common interests of both sides. Both sides should restart as early as possible the China-GCC FTA negotiations to reach a win-win agreement at the earliest opportunity. Both sides should also join efforts to ensure the success of the third round of China-GCC strategic dialogue. Hope Bahrain, as the holder of the rotating presidency of GCC in 2013, will play a positive role in enhancing China-GCC relations.

King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-khalifa expressed, I have the feeling of being at home here in China. This is because the two peoples enjoy profound traditional friendship. 24 years ago, Bahrain broke through the resistance and resolutely decided to establish diplomatic relationship with the People's Republic of China. Facts prove that this is absolutely correct. China's development has set an example in the world. Bahrain as well as the Arab states admire China and are grateful for China's support. At present, the world is not peaceful. Bahrain and China are both peace-loving countries and advocate resolving disputes through dialogue and negotiations. Bahrain is ready to work with China to contribute more to maintaining global and regional peace and stability.

King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-khalifa said that Bahrain is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in all fields and fully agrees with the Chinese side on the relevant proposals. It is believed that the series of agreements to be signed by both sides will surely uplift the level of bilateral cooperation. Bahrain is actively committed to the development of GCC-China relations and will make efforts to push ahead the establishment of GCC-China FTA at an early date. Bahrain and GCC are ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China on major international and regional issues.

Following the talks, the two heads of state attended the signing ceremony of cooperation documents in the fields of energy, taxation, health care, finance, education and culture.

The two countries issued the Joint Communique.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcome ceremony for King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-khalifa at the Square outside the East Gate of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman Zhang Ping of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Vice Chairman Su Rong of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and others were present.

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