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China-Arab Cooperation Forum to focus on strategic dimensions

Ramy Salama


THE forthcoming 7th round of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, which will be held in Qatar on May 12, will offer an unparalleled opportunity to enhance and reinforce cooperation between the sides in all fields, and will focus especially on those strategic dimensions pertaining to China's One Belt-One Road initiative, according to the Ambassador of China to Qatar HE Li Chen.

Speaking at a briefing convened to formally announce the forum on Sunday, Chen said,"China's President Xi Jinping's 'One Belt-One Road' initiative to boost exchange and trade across Asia and Africa in correspondence with the historic silk road trade route will be one of the major themes of the forum, in line with that initiative's collaborative and cooperative spirit; and this in turn will require a deepening of strategic cooperation between China and the Arab countries."

The ambassador noted that the forum would see the participation of Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al Thani, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and in addition would feature representatives on the ministerial level of all the Arab countries.

Chen added that the forum would coincide with an exhibition by some of the leading Chinese companies in areas in which China has distinguished itself, internationally,"and which offer some of the opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the greatest potential benefit to the Arab countries".

"On the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, there will be an exhibition featuring some of the top Chinese companies in the fields of high speed rail transportation, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System applications (a Chinese implementation of a technology similar to GPS), Nuclear Energy generation and telecommunications," he said.

The China-Arab Cooperation Forum was established in January 2004 following a joint announcement of China and Arab states at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo and with a focus on long-term growth of China-Arab relations in the new century, according to the ambassador.

It was a natural outcome of the growing political mutual trust and thriving practical cooperation between the two sides and was a highly relevant new measure taken by the two sides to ride the tide of globalisation and regional cooperation.

The establishment of the forum, rooted in time-honoured friendship, driven by mutually beneficial cooperation and aimed at common development, was a reflection of the strategic will and common choice of China and the Arab states.


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