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Foreign Ministry Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's State Visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran

2016/01/18

On January 18, 2016, the Foreign Ministry held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media, during which Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming introduced President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, and answered questions from the journalists.

Zhang Ming pointed out that as China's first major diplomatic event in 2016, President Xi Jinping's visits coincide with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Egypt as well as between China and the Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran boast great influence in the Middle East, and China keeps friendly cooperative relations with all of them with political mutual trust being increasingly deepened, economic contacts being more solid and all-round exchanges and cooperation enjoying smooth development. President Xi Jinping's upcoming visits aim to consolidate traditional friendship, enhance mutually beneficial cooperation and promote exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations.

Zhang Ming expressed that Saudi Arabia is the largest trading partner of China in West Asia and North Africa while China is one of the largest trading partners of Saudi Arabia. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Saudi Arabia, their bilateral relations have enjoyed a sound development momentum with all-round cooperation being continuously deepened. As the first visit of Chinese President to Saudi Arabia in 7 years, it will comprehensively blueprint China-Saudi Arabia relations and all-round cooperation in the next 5-10 years and push bilateral relations to a new level. During the visit, the two countries will issue a joint statement on the establishment of bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership. President Xi Jinping will also meet respectively with Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Iyad Ameen Madani and exchange views with them on further advancing China's relations with the GCC and the Islamic states.

As a major Arab, African and Islamic country, Egypt plays an important role in regional and international affairs. As ancient civilizations, China and Egypt enjoy time-honored friendly exchanges. China-Egypt relations now witness a sound development momentum. As the first visit of Chinese top leader to Egypt in 12 years, it will comprehensively map out the future development of China-Egypt relations and be of important milestone significance. The League of Arab States is among the first regional international organizations in the world, and during the visit, President Xi Jinping will meet with its Secretary-General Nabil El Araby and make important speech to the Middle East and Arab states, elaborating China's policy on promoting peace and development in the Middle East and offering China's measures and propositions on its practical cooperation with the Middle East countries.

As the first visit of Chinese President to Iran in14 years, President Xi Jinping's state visit is of great significance to inheriting and carrying forward the development of China-Iran relations. China always views its relations with Iran from a long-term and strategic perspective and plays a constructive role in properly dealing with the Iranian nuclear issue. The comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue was reached in July 2015, and since then the interactions between Iran and the international community have significantly increased, and China-Iran relations are now facing an important development opportunity. The visit will serve as a milestone in China-Iran relations and open up a new prospect for the comprehensive, long-standing and stable development of China-Iran relations.

Zhang Ming stressed that President Xi Jinping's visits are tight in schedule and rich in content and will yield fruitful results. China will further dock development strategies with the three countries and together advance energy cooperation, infrastructure construction, trade facilitation and high-tech cooperation in such areas including aerospace. China will reach new consensus with them on enhancing cooperation in people-to-people and cultural fields such as education, science, technology and culture and further exchange views on carrying out civilization dialogues. President Xi Jinping will also exchange views with the leaders of the three countries on major international and regional issues and join hands with them to promote regional and global peace and stability. It is believed that the visits will exert great and far-reaching influence on deepening China's relations with the three countries and other countries in the region.

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