Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on January 21, 2016 (XINHUA)
China attaches high importance to advancing the China-Arab strategic partnership. In recent years, frequent high-level visits and establishing of various cooperation mechanisms have pushed bilateral relations to a new height.
The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), initiated in 2004, has developed into an important platform for bilateral collective dialogue and cooperation. Under the framework of the CASCF, nine ministerial meetings, 16 high-level official meetings, and five high-level strategic political dialogues have been held, exchanging views on a wide range of issues.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, his wife Peng Liyuan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum are seen on a reviewing stand in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, on July 19, 2018. Xi arrived in the emirate for a state visit to the UAE when Sheikh Mohammed hosted a welcome ceremony for him at the airport (XINHUA)
China and Arab countries have also worked closely on economic development, especially after the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward in 2013. By the end of 2019, 18 Arab countries had signed memorandums of understanding with China on this initiative. The bilateral trade volume reached $266.4 billion in 2019, and China has become the largest trade partner of 10 Arab countries, including Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait.
The two sides have also carried out more and more people-to-people exchanges. A series of events such as the China-Arab Civilization Dialogue, China-Arab Friendship Conference, China-Arab Press Cooperation Seminar and the China-Arab Cultural Festival have proved to be very successful and built bridges of mutual understanding and communication between the people, particularly the younger generations in China and Arab countries.
The site of China State Construction Engineering Corporation's Central Business District project in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, about 50 kilometers east of Cairo (XINHUA)
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc around the globe, China and Arab states have agreed to enhance solidarity and cooperation, uphold multilateralism, support each other on issues of core interests and major concerns, and jointly build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era.