A friend in need is a friend indeed. This well-known proverb is also an apt description of China and Arab countries’ united fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Having gone through this joint fight against the coronavirus, the China-Arab strategic partnership now enjoys an even stronger foundation, closer people-to-people friendship and brighter prospects for cooperation,” Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said in a congratulatory letter to the China-Arab States Political Parties Dialogue Extraordinary Meeting held from June 22 to 24.
The endeavor made by the two sides showed their aspiration and determination in jointly combating the epidemic, deepening exchanges and cooperation, and pushing forward the building of a community with a shared future for China and Arab states.
Together with other political parties in various countries, the CPC is committed to strengthening mutual trust, dialogue and coordination. On the basis of a new form of international relations, we are exploring building a new type of party-to-party relations that seeks to expand common ground while reserving differences and enhances mutual respect and mutual learning. We are working to build a multi-form, multi-level international network for party-to-party exchanges and cooperation. With these efforts, we can create a mighty force for building a community with a shared future for humanity.
The China-Arab States Political Parties Dialogue Extraordinary Meeting, under the theme of jointly building a community with a shared future for China and Arab states in the new era, resonated with the participants.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it is of great significance for Arab countries to take joint actions with China, work together to meet challenges, and overcome difficulties together. Such a relationship will play an important role in enhancing political mutual trust and deepening the Sino-Arab strategic partnership.
He also said the extraordinary meeting shows that China and Arab countries have a solid foundation for consolidating political consensus, unity and cooperation, and working together to build a community with a shared future for themselves.
In the face of the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak, China and Arab states have rendered each other help and fought shoulder to shoulder, opening up a new chapter in building a community with a shared future for China and Arab states, Xi said in the letter.
At the most critical moment for China in fighting the epidemic, leaders of Arab countries and heads of regional organizations such as the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expressed their condolences to China. The governments and people of various Arab countries gave China support and assistance in various forms. China will always remember those good deeds and kindness.
When the Arab countries were hit by the epidemic, the Chinese empathized with them. China provided a large quantity of anti-epidemic materials to Arab countries, organized health experts’ video conferences for 17 countries, the Arab League and the GCC, and dispatched medical experts’ groups to eight Arab countries with urgent needs. All this was done to share experience in COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, as well as prevention and control programs.
The efforts of China and the Arab countries uniting against the epidemic have shown the world the power of solidarity and cooperation among developing countries, and have made contributions to the global fight against the epidemic.
The strong friendship that they have forged in their long-term exchanges has laid the groundwork for their joint efforts to fight against the epidemic.
For more than 2,000 years, peaceful cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit have been the main themes of Sino-Arab exchanges.
No matter how the international situation changed, China and Arab countries have always been good partners and friends who have overcome difficulties together.
After friendly consultations, both sides agreed to establish the Sino-Arab strategic partnership featuring comprehensive cooperation and future-oriented common development in 2018. Their cooperation in fighting COVID-19 demonstrates that it is necessary more than ever for them to step up cooperation and join hands in tiding over difficulties.
Chinese and Arab peoples, once closely connected by the ancient Silk Road, are now working together to advance the Belt and Road cooperation and realize their common aspiration of national prosperity and rejuvenation.
As important participants and creators of the Silk Road civilization in history, Arab countries, located at the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, are natural partners in the joint pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Back in 2018, at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, the two sides agreed to expand cooperation fields for common interests under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
In the current situation, both China and Arab countries need to explore aligning their development strategies and channels, and work together to make the Belt and Road a road to cooperation, health, recovery and growth, as well as open up a bright future for prosperity and development.
There’s a Chinese saying that when everybody adds fuel, the flames rise high, meaning that great things may be done by mass effort; similarly, Arab people also say that nothing is impossible to people who work together.
In the fight against the epidemic, China and Arab countries have joined hands to make important contributions to building a global community of health for all.
Looking forward to the future, China and Arab countries, by continuing to build consensus and solidarity, will be able to create brilliance together on the road to realizing the dream of prosperity and national rejuvenation.