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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on July 7, 2020

2020/07/07

CRI: The ninth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) was successfully held via videolink yesterday. Faced with severe challenges brought by COVID-19 and in terms of economic recovery, China and Arab states face significant external pressure. What is China's consideration behind holding this meeting in such context? What outcomes have been achieved in China-Arab practical cooperation specifically through this meeting?

Zhao Lijian: The ninth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was successfully held via videolink last night. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the meeting. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Jordan's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ayman Safadi co-chaired the meeting and delivered keynote and concluding remarks. The meeting was addressed by the Arab League Secretary-General and foreign ministers of all the 21 AL member states.

It was no easy feat to hold this meeting. As COVID-19 wreaks havoc around the world, the future of all mankind and the destinies of all countries are unprecedentedly intertwined. The advent of this pandemic affected China and all Arab states and forced the cancellation or postponement of many institutional meetings between Arab states. Despite all these, both sides made joint efforts to overcome difficulties and hold this meeting as scheduled. This meeting bears far-reaching significance as it reflects the determination of China and Arab states to fight COVID-19 and advance China-Arab strategic partnership together.

After discussions, three outcome documents were reached, namely the joint statement of China and Arab states on solidarity against COVID-19, the Amman declaration of the ninth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and the execution plan for 2020-2022 of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum.

Through the joint statement of China and Arab states on solidarity against COVID-19, China and Arab states have gathered collective strength to fight the epidemics and tide over the difficulties together. Both sides stressed that solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon for the international community to defeat the epidemics, and called for the building of a community with a shared future and a community for health between China and Arab states in the joint fight against COVID-19. Both sides underlined the importance of multilateralism, the need to further strengthen and improve the UN-centered global governance system, support the key leading role of WHO, and call on international community to strengthen coordination and form synergy, and stand against discrimination against any specific country, region, ethnic group or individual. China is ready to continue providing assistance to Arab states in fighting the epidemics.

The adoption of the Amman declaration demonstrates the political will of China and Arab states to support each other and share weal and woe. At the last ministerial meeting, President Xi Jinping put forward the initiative of "jointly building a China-Arab community with a shared future for a new era", which became a bilateral consensus. The two sides agreed to hold a China-Arab summit at an appropriate time and included the topic of building a China-Arab community with a shared future into the agenda of the summit.

The Arab states emphasized that they support China's position on Hong Kong-related matters, support China's efforts to safeguard national security under the framework of "one country, two systems" and oppose foreign interference in China's internal affairs. They support China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, adhere to the one-China principle and oppose "Taiwan independence" in all forms. They support China's preventive counter-terrorism measures and de-radicalization efforts. They oppose anti-China separatist activities carried out by extremist, separatist and terrorist forces.

Through the execution plan for 2020-2022, China and Arab states have mapped out practical cooperation and common development in the future. The two sides have reached 107 cooperation measures in 20 areas, including politics, economy, energy, production capacity, science, technology and health.

Xinhua News Agency