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Let Us Take Real Action to Build a China-Arab Community
With a Shared Future

2024-05-30 19:30

Remarks by H.E. Wang Yi at the 10th Ministerial Conference of
The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum

Beijing, May 30, 2024

Your Excellency Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug, Arab Co-chair of the Ministerial Conference and Foreign Minister of Mauritania, 
Your Excellency Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the League of Arab States,
Distinguished Colleagues,
Friends,

Good morning. I am delighted to meet you all again in Beijing and join you at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF).

This is the first ministerial conference of the Forum since our leaders met for the first China-Arab States Summit in 2022. The theme of our Conference is Working Toward a China-Arab Community with a Shared Future. We are pleased that significant progress has been made in building a China-Arab community with a shared future under the guidance of Arab leaders and President Xi Jinping since their first summit and that the China-Arab relationship is now at its best in history. 

With our leaders guiding the way forward through head-of-state diplomacy, China and Arab countries have built a stronger strategic mutual trust. We have had more high-level exchanges. We have firmly supported each other on issues that bear on our respective core interests and are of major concern to us. A total of 14 Arab countries have established comprehensive strategic partnership or strategic partnership with China, making the Arab region one of the biggest clusters of China’s strategic partners.

With tangible progress in delivering on the outcome of the first China-Arab States Summit, China and Arab countries have deepened and substantiated our results-oriented cooperation. China has listed 30 development cooperation projects involving Arab countries in its Global Development Initiative (GDI) Project Pool. A total of 45 development cooperation or aid projects to the benefit of Arab countries are underway or under consideration. All of the 22 Arab countries are partners of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China applies zero-tariff to 98 percent of taxable goods from the Arab least developed countries, and has helped train more than 3,400 professionals in various sectors for Arab countries. The “eight major cooperation initiatives” are delivering tangible results.

With more exchanges and more mutual cultural learning, the Chinese and Arab peoples have developed a stronger friendship and better mutual understanding. We have issued a joint statement on implementing the Global Civilization Initiative. The cultural and people-to-people exchange programs and events, such as the first China-Arab Youth Development Forum, have attracted many of our young people. There are more and more Arab fans of Chinese films, TV programs, and books. And more and more of our people are learning each other’s language.

Today at our meeting venue, a large photo frame featuring the flags of Arab states and the Arab League is on special display. These flags have been sent on a tour to and from China’s space station. After the Conference, we will present it to our Arab friends as a memento of the China-Arab friendship that transcends time and space.

Distinguished Colleagues,
Friends,

This morning, President Xi Jinping, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, President Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi, President Kais Saied and President Mohamed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan attended the opening ceremony and delivered the keynote addresses. A new consensus has been reached. President Xi Jinping announced that the second China-Arab States Summit will be held in China in 2026. The Summit will be another historic milestone in China-Arab relations. In his speech, President Xi Jinping stressed that China will work with the Arab side to make our relations a model for maintaining world peace and stability, a fine example of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, a paradigm of harmonious coexistence between civilizations, and a model for promoting good global governance. His remarks point the way forward for building a China-Arab community with a shared future. President Xi has also proposed that we build together “five cooperation frameworks”. His proposal, which is built on the “eight major cooperation initiatives” for results-oriented China-Arab cooperation, will bring our cooperation in the new era to a new height.

A blueprint has been drawn, and the key lies in its implementation. Going forward, we need to truly act on the consensus of our leaders and the outcomes of today’s Conference. To that end, I wish to propose four priorities:

First, China and Arab countries should remain committed to greater strategic mutual trust and firmly support each other on issues which bear on our respective core interests. China highly appreciates Arab countries’ valuable and long-standing support to us on issues which involve our core interests and are of major concern to us. China will continue to support Arab countries in upholding your sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national dignity, in enhancing solidarity and cooperation and strengthening self-reliance, in promoting political settlement of hotspot issues, and in safeguarding security and stability in the Middle East.

The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East issue. No matter how the international landscape evolves, China will remain steadfast in its support to the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, and to the earlier establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. China firmly supports full U.N. membership for Palestine, which is a call echoed by the international community. China is also ready to do more to help achieve Palestinian reconciliation. We support the convocation of an international peace conference that is more broad-based, more authoritative, and more effective. The current situation in Gaza is unsustainable. An unconditional and immediate ceasefire is an international consensus. Improvement of humanitarian conditions on the ground is an urgent imperative. The lives of innocent civilians must no longer be ignored and must not be harmed. China will continue to stand in solidarity with Arab states. We will speak up and stand up for justice, and work for an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable.

Second, China and Arab countries should deepen results-oriented and mutually beneficial cooperation and upgrade such cooperation to a higher level. China supports Arab countries in your efforts to accelerate industrialization, build more critical infrastructure projects, and undertake more small and beautiful projects that will bring tangible improvement to people’s livelihood. China will remain a long-term partner of Arab countries for strategic cooperation in the energy sector. We will help Arab countries build more flagship energy projects and create a dynamic where cooperation in the traditional and new energy sectors advance in tandem. China will continue to expand trade with Arab countries so that our peoples can all share the benefits that come along with trade liberalization and facilitation. China will work with Arab countries to cultivate new growth drivers in the high and new technology industries, foster synergy of industries, universities, research institutes and end users, leverage the opportunities brought about by digital, Internet-based and smart technologies. China welcomes more investment from Arab countries. This will be your investment in the future as you will share in the dividends of China’s development and rejuvenation. China also hopes for cooperation with Arab countries in areas of governance, public health, youth, and education so that the China-Arab friendship will be carried forward from generation to generation.

Third, China and Arab countries should strengthen cooperation at the international level and work together to maintain the right direction of global governance. China stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Arab countries on multilateral platforms, such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, BRICS, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China and Arab countries call for an equal and orderly multipolar world. We will practice true multilateralism, and say no to hegemonism and power politics. China will work with Arab countries to promote mutually beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, boost trade prosperity, easy investment, greater flow of people and technological advancement, and oppose any form of unilateralism and protectionism.

Fourth, China and Arab countries should enhance institution building of our Forum in the interest of a China-Arab community with a shared future. The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum has travelled a journey of 20 years since its establishment. Over the past two decades, the Forum contributed significantly to the development of China-Arab relations while improving itself in step with the times. It has become the signature platform for collective China-Arab cooperation and has written a splendid chapter in South-South cooperation characterized by mutual respect, mutual benefit and mutual learning. On the new journey of building a China-Arab community with a shared future, China is ready to work with Arab states to carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, and strengthen the key roles of the Forum in promoting political dialogue, expanding results-oriented cooperation, deepening cultural exchanges, and providing guidance for good global governance. We should see to it that the Forum continues to serve as a high-quality platform for building a China-Arab community with a shared future, and work together to make the next 20 years of the overall China-Arab cooperation more remarkable.

Distinguished Colleagues,
Friends,

As an Arab saying goes, “Words proved by action are the most powerful.” President Xi Jinping said on a number of occasions that what you do is more important than what you say. Let us take real action to translate the blueprint for a China-Arab community with a shared future into reality. Let us take the Ministerial Conference as a new start to create a brighter future for China-Arab relations!

Thank you.

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