Vis­its add to China’s role in Mideast

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­

Bei­jing ex­pects stronger co­or­di­na­tion and co­op­er­a­tion to pro­mote peace and dia­logue in the Mid­dle East as it hosted vis­its from prom­i­nent po­lit­i­cal fig­ures of four coun­tries in the re­gion, For­eign Min­istry spokesman Lu Kang said.

China’s re­cent in­ter­ac­tions with the re­gion have come into the lime­light as Pales­tine’s pres­i­dent, Tu­nisia’s for­eign min­is­ter, the United Arab Emirates’ min­is­ter of state and Qatar’s for­eign min­is­ter trav­eled to Bei­jing this week.

When meet­ing with Qatar For­eign Min­is­ter Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Ab­dul­rah­man Al-Thani on Thurs­day evening, For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi said China will con­tinue pro­mot­ing peace and dia­logue in ac­cor­dance with the needs of coun­tries in the Mid­dle East to fur­ther push for po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ments of the Gulf cri­sis.

In re­sponse, Mo­hammed said Qatar val­ues its friend­ship with China and China’s role in the re­gion, and Qatar ap­pre­ci­ates how China has re­acted since the cri­sis be­gan.

Cur­rently, the Mid­dle East sit­u­a­tion is “at a crit­i­cal cross­road”, and “since there’s no sta­bil­ity in the Mid­dle East, the world can hardly en­joy tran­quil­lity”, Lu told a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence on Thurs­day.

As a per­ma­nent mem­ber of the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, China has al­ways kept track of the peace, sta­bil­ity and devel­op­ment in the Mid­dle East re­gion, he said.

“There are no self­ish in­ter­ests be­hind China’s ad­dress­ing the Mid­dle East is­sue, and it com­pletely acts out of the well-be­ing of re­gional coun­tries and their peo­ple,” Lu said.

A range of new pro­pos­als were made by Chi­nese of­fi­cials dur­ing the re­cent se­quence of vis­its and talks in Bei­jing.

Niu Xinchun, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Mid­dle East Stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional

Re­la­tions, said that be­hind the trips to China are the wel­come ges­tures of the Mid­dle East coun­tries to­ward China’s play­ing a greater role in the re­gion and the re­gion’s lead­ers’ hopes to ease ten­sions there.

Xue Q ing­guo, a pro­fes­sor of Arab stud­ies at Bei­jing For­eign Stud­ies Uni­ver­sity, said the re­cent China vis­its show­case its im­par­tial role in re­gional is­sues as well as China’s good ties with the Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries.

“What China could do is to beef up its me­di­at­ing ef­forts and of­fer its pro­pos­als. This does not mean China will get en­tan­gled or med­dle in the stand­offs. In­stead, China of­fers help within its ca­pac­ity,” Xue said.

In his talk on Tues­day with vis­it­ing Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said China will hold a sem­i­nar for peo­ple who want peace in Pales­tine and Is­rael this year to con­trib­ute ideas and solutions to the Pales­tinian is­sue.

When meet­ing with vis­it­ing UAE Min­is­ter of State Sul­tan Ahmed Al-Jaber on Wednes­day, Wang un­veiled China’s three-point po­si­tion on the lin­ger­ing Gulf cri­sis, in­clud­ing sup­port­ing an early start of talks by all par­ties in­volved.

Wang also pro­posed a four-point prin­ci­ple on the Libyan is­sue when meet­ing with his Tu­nisian coun­ter­part on Wednes­day, call­ing for re­in­forced in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in the fight against ter­ror.

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