"Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development" ... A Summit of Cooperation and Strategic Partnership

Thursday 1444/5/14 - 2022/12/08
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Riyadh, December 08, 2022, SPA -- All eyes in the Arab region and the world are aimed at the first “Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development,” which comes at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, hosted by the Kingdom from 7-9 December, with the participation of leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab countries, in addition to wide participation of the Arab League, China, and the presidents and secretaries general of several regional and international organizations, within the framework of Arab interest in the relations with China, which is witnessing a development aimed at achieving higher levels of cooperation, development and common interests, and the consolidation of security, peace, and development for the Arab and Chinese peoples.
The "Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development" comes at this time as an important cooperation mechanism to develop means of exchange experiences between the Arab and Chinese sides, and to address the current international challenges and changes, on the political, economic, or cultural level.
This important historic summit also represents a new impetus for strengthening and developing Arab-Chinese relations, in light of the current international developments, and an opportunity to devote historical Arab-Chinese relations, deepen cooperation in all fields, promote exchanges between civilizations, and build the Arab-Chinese community for a common future towards a new era.
Through this summit, the Arab leaders and China intend to plan cooperation in the future, advance the quality and level of Arab-Chinese relations, and develop more consensus between the two sides in global governance, development, security, civilized dialogue, and other important issues.
This summit is a milestone in the history of Arab-Chinese relations, and symbolizes the entry of the Arab-Chinese friendship into a new phase, and the opening of broader horizons for the Arab-Chinese strategic partnership relations, leading the two sides to move forward in the path of building the Arab-Chinese community for a common future with broad steps, as the Arab countries represent important partners for China's development, strengthening solidarity and cooperation among developing countries, and advancing towards a community with a shared future for mankind.
The Arab-China relations are deeply rooted in history, and over the past more than 70 years since the founding of the new China, the Arab-Chinese cooperation has been defining the prospects and the way forward towards building the Arab-Chinese community.
Cooperation between the Arab countries and China in all fields has witnessed rapid and comprehensive development, as the Arab countries have become the main energy exporters and economic and trade cooperation partners for China. The Arab and Chinese sides are working together to implement the "Belt and Road" action plan in various fields, including technology, within the framework of the Arab-Chinese technological partnership in order to fully utilize China's technological advantages and to employ Chinese talent. At the same time, the Arab and Chinese sides are implementing the "Belt and Road" action plan in various fields, including energy, in order to make full use of China's technological advantages.
The Arab countries and China enjoy a high degree of economic complementary advantages, as the volume of trade exchange between the Arab countries and China increased between 1970 and 2010, by more than 620 times, and Chinese oil imports from Arab countries increased 30 times since the beginning of the 1990s to 2010.
The total volume of trade exchange between the two sides in 2020 amounted to about USD239.8 billion. The imports of Arab countries from China amounted to about USD122.9 billion, an increase of 2.1% on an annual basis. Moreover, the Arab countries and China are partners for cooperation within the framework of the "Belt and Road" initiative, as China has signed cooperation agreements within the framework of this initiative with many Arab countries in addition to the Arab League.
In 2021, mutual direct investment balances between the Arab and Chinese sides amounted to USD27 billion, an increase of 2.6% compared to 10 years ago, and the volume of trade exchange between the two sides reached USD330.3 billion, an increase of 1.5% over what it was 10 years ago, and in the first three quarters of 2022, the volume of trade exchange between the two sides reached USD319.295 billion, an increase of 35.28% compared to the same period last year, and almost the same trade volume in 2021.
Concerning expanding cultural and social exchange and promoting the rapprochement of nations, the Arab and Chinese sides conducted a variety of cooperation in several fields, including youth, media, education, culture, and health, which expanded social and cultural exchange and deepened mutual understanding.
The two sides set up different mechanisms for social and cultural communication within the framework of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum. Although the Arab and Chinese civilizations have distinct systems and characteristics, they both include common concepts and aspirations that accumulate in the process of human progress, and are concerned with values such as moderation, tolerance, and self-discipline, and seek dialogue among civilizations, and call for tolerance and mutual benefit.
The Arab League and China have historical friendship ties, as China initiated contacting the Arab League after establishing its diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1956, and the League opened its office in China in 1993. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of a mechanism for political consultations with the Secretariat General of the Arab League in 1999. In 2005, China appointed its ambassador to Egypt and a Chinese delegate to the Arab League, and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs established a mechanism for political and strategic dialogue at the level of senior officials with the Secretariat General of the Arab League in 2015.
The Arab League seeks to boost its relations with China in various fields, in a way that makes the Arab-Chinese rapprochement and cooperation grow stronger, more solid, and more diversified, based on common denominators of the two sides' respect for the principles of international law, international legitimacy, the sovereignty and independence of states, and a commitment to resolving disputes by peaceful means, and the common desire to expand and deepen the areas of cooperation to achieve Arab and Chinese interests.
China has been exerting unremitting efforts for peace and stability in the Middle East. China has also participated constructively in the Palestinian Cause, and in the issues of Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and other countries, to push for solutions acceptable to all parties through comprehensive political dialogue.
The Arab League upholds friendship towards China, and the vast majority of decisions related to China issued by the Arab League at the ministerial level since its 125th session of March 2006 contain support for the one-China principle. While all Arab League decisions related to China issued at the ministerial level since its 156th session in September 2019 have appreciated the efforts made by Chinese diplomacy in the Middle East.
All Arab League's decisions related to China issued at the ministerial level since its 149th session in March 2018 touched on cooperation in supporting the "Belt and Road" initiative.
The Arab countries and China have joined hands and voiced mutual support since the outbreak of the emerging Coronavirus pandemic, and resulted in effective cooperation in the vaccine development and use, prevention and joint control, and the sharing of experiences and therapeutic drugs to produce masks and other materials to combat this pandemic.
The two sides also face similar historical challenges in light of the unprecedented changes the world is currently witnessing, as China has always considered the Arab countries as important partners in its steady march towards peaceful development, the strengthening of solidarity and cooperation between developing countries, and building a community with a shared future for humanity.
Moreover, holding the “Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development" for the first time in the Kingdom reflects the keenness of the Arab and Chinese leaders to develop aspects of cooperation and align the strategic directions of the Arab countries with China as the second largest economy in the world, as well as to strengthen the Kingdom’s role as a pillar of security and stability in the region and the world, and to build bridges of communication with China by coordinating covenants between the two sides, and coming up with a vision and mechanisms of common understanding, and launch and support of quality initiatives.
The Kingdom's hosting of the first "Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development" contributes to advancing the Arab-Chinese strategic partnership to broader horizons, as well as serving the common interests of both sides, upgrading the mechanisms of the Arab-Chinese Cooperation Forum, and assigning the Secretariat General to coordinate with the concerned authorities in the Kingdom and China.
Saudi Arabia is making efforts to make the convening of this important historic summit a success, which is a milestone in the march of the strategic partnership between the Arab countries and China, where three summits will be held; the “Saudi-Chinese” summit chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Chinese president, with the participation of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, while the second is the “Riyadh Gulf-Chinese Summit for Cooperation and Development,” and the third is the “Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development.” The Kingdom is also striving to build what is called a partnership of power or partnership friendship, through these summits, which constitute an additional step to support Arab-Chinese cooperation in all fields, in a way that achieves common interests between all sides.
--SPA
19:15 LOCAL TIME 16:15 GMT
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