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Belt and Road Initiative Eyed as Lodestar for Sino-Arab Ties

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Doha, capital of Qatar that both China and the Arab world agree to take the Belt and Road Initiative as the lodestar to promote their relations.

Wang made the remarks at a joint press conference with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby and Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al-Thani after the 7th Ministerial Meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum.

He said the initiative is a historic opportunity for China and the Arab nations to boost common development and national rejuvenation, while urging the two sides to be each other's most reliable and long-lasting partners.

At the meeting, the two sides agreed that connectivity, industrial production capacity, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges are the three key pillars underpinning their cooperation within the Belt and Road Initiative.

Wang told the reporters that China and the Arab nations have huge potential in building infrastructures such as railways and ports, while the cooperation in production capacity is aimed at accelerating the industrialization of the Arab nations.

He said that the two sides have also realized that they should firmly support each other in maintaining their respective core interests, and easing regional tensions through dialogues.

The Arab world at the meeting reaffirmed that they support China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose religious extremism and separatism, including separatist acts against China.

They also support China's efforts to peacefully resolve territorial and maritime differences with certain nations through friendly dialogues and negotiations.

The Arab nations stressed that the rights of sovereign nations as well as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea signatories in choosing how they solve their disputes should be respected.

Wang also said that China supports the Palestinians to establish an independent nation, adding that both sides believe that more efforts should be exerted to promote the political solutions to regional hotspots, including the Syrian crisis.

Earlier on May 12, at the closing ceremony of the meeting, the Chinese foreign minister said China and the Arab world are now facing new challenges and opportunities in boosting economic development, urging both sides to take the meeting as a chance to further promote their cooperation to new levels.

He also called on the two sides to enhance their communication and coordination in international and regional affairs, and step up pragmatic cooperation within the framework of the belt and road initiative and expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2016)

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