|Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a speech at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, on January 21 (XINHUA)
Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on January 21 prescribed his remedies to restore peace in the Middle East and promote development in the Arab world.
While delivering a speech at the headquarters of the Arab League, Xi described the Middle East region, which in many's eyes is almost an equivalent to wars and tumult, as a "land of abundance."
Path to peace
The Chinese leader concluded in the remarks that dialogues and development are the key factors that can help bring peace and stability back in this part of the world.
He said use of force offers no solution to problems, neither will zero-sum mentality bring enduring peace, adding that for the success of talks, there is need for utmost patience and flexibility.
Speaking of the Syrian crisis, he said there will be no winner out of a conflict, and to address the hot-spots, what is the most urgent, is to bring about cease-fire and start political talks.
Xi also believed that turmoil in the Middle East stems from the lack of development, while the ultimate solution will depend on development, saying that only when young people are able to live a fulfilled life with dignity can hope prevail in their heart. Only then will they voluntarily reject violence, extremist ideologies and terrorism.
Mahmoud Allam, former Egyptian ambassador to China, admitted that many of the deep-rooted problems the Arab world is grappling with have been the result of failures to achieve a successful development model, saying development is no doubt the most viable path of mobilizing people toward achieving their common interests and overcoming disagreements.
Also in his speech, the Chinese president introduced a host of fresh moves including loans, financial aid and common investment fund to help improve livelihood, fight terrorism and promote development in the Arab world.
The Chinese Government has decided to pledge 50 million yuan ($7.53 million) to help improve the lives of the Palestinians and 230 million yuan ($35 million) for Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Yemen as humanitarian assistance, said Xi.
Beijing also wants to promote the industrialization in the Middle East. To achieve that end, China is going to hand out a number of loan programs, including a $15 billion exclusive loan, a $10 billion business lending, and $10 billion concessional loans so as to facilitate production capacity cooperation between China and the regional countries, according to the president.
Meanwhile, China also prepares to work with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to set up a common investment fund worth $20 billion that focuses on traditional sources of energy in the Middle East, infrastructure, and high-end manufacturing.
Xi also offered in his speech $300 million for law enforcement cooperation, police training so as to help build up the abilities of the regional countries to maintain stability.
China also planned to provide 1,000 training opportunities for young Arab leaders, and strengthen exchanges among their think tanks, experts and scholars.
China's dos and don'ts in Middle East
The Chinese leader also said his country will neither look for proxies nor try to fill any "vacuum" in the Middle East, adding that Beijing has no intention of building any sphere of influence in the region.
"Instead of looking for a proxy in the Middle East, we promote peace talks; instead of seeking any sphere of influence, we call on all parties to join the circle of friends for the Belt and Road Initiative; instead of attempting to fill the 'vacuum', we build a cooperative partnership network for win-win outcomes," he said.
Meanwhile, Xi promised that China will not link terrorism with any specific ethnic group or religion, as doing so will only create ethnic and religious tensions, adding that there should be no double standards in battling terrorism.
Also, he said the Middle East is the meeting place of ancient human civilizations and home to diverse and splendid cultures. China will continue to unswervingly support Middle East and Arab states in preserving their ethnic and cultural traditions, and oppose all forms of discrimination and prejudice against specific ethnic group and religion.
(Xinhua News Agency January 21, 2016)