Belt and Road Initiative enhances China-Arab strategic cooperation: Wang
OUR CORRESPONDENT BEIJING—China will advance the Belt and Road Initiative with Arab countries and consolidate China-Arab strategic cooperation ties, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi wrote in an Egyptian state-run newspaper on Tuesday. Paying an official visit to Qatar to attend the 7th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, Wang wrote in an article published in the official Ahram newspaper on Tuesday that he will discuss with the Arab countries “means of jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and deepen China- Arab strategic cooperation.”
China and Arab countries will also exchange views on international and regional issues of common concern at the meeting, Wang said. Marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Arab world, this year’s forum will kick off at Doha on Thursday.
At the 6th ministerial meeting of the forum held at Beijing in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a larger “1+2+3” China-Arab cooperation framework. “Over the past two years, the China-Arab cooperation tree has become fruitful due to mutual efforts,” added Wang, noting that China and Arab countries have strengthened cooperations in political, economic and cultural matters in the past two years.
China and Arab countries should build on the results of President Xi’s initiatives announced during his speech at the headquarters of the Arab League in January, which charts the course for future development of friendly cooperation between China and Arab countries, Wang said.
The Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, was brought up in 2013, with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. “Advancing the Belt and Road initiative, which needs convenient environment, will provide big momentum to achieve peace in the region,” Wang said.
The Belt and Road initiative is based on mutual interests and gains, and it will be a road for integration and solidarity among civilizations, he said.
“Around 2,000 years ago, China and Arab nations have built mutual understanding and communication via the old Silk Road,” Wang said.
RIYADH: Chinese President Xi Jinping (L, front) is welcomed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other officials upon his arrival in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 19, 2016. Xi arrived here on Tuesday for a state visit to Saudi Arabia, the first stop of his three-nation tour of the Middle East. [File photo]