CGTN: China-Arab summit carries forward traditional friendship, fosters closer community with shared future

BEIJING, Dec. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The first China-Arab States Summit was held successfully on Friday in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and more than 10 Arab leaders. The event, which was an opportunity to bring China-Arab relations to new heights, to elaborate on the spirit of China-Arab friendship, to strengthen future cooperation and to further foster a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, has yielded fruitful results.

Elaborating on China-Arab friendship

Xi elaborated on the spirit of China-Arab friendship featuring “solidarity and mutual assistance, equality and mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and mutual learning,” saying that solidarity and mutual assistance are distinct features of the China-Arab friendship, adding that China and Arab countries trust each other and have forged a brotherly friendship.

Enjoying a long history of friendly exchanges, China and Arab states have come to know and befriend each other through the ancient Silk Road, shared weal and woe in their respective struggles for national liberation, conducted win-win cooperation in the tide of economic globalization, and upheld fairness and justice in the changing international environment, Xi said, adding that all these nurtured the spirit of China-Arab friendship.

Equality and mutual benefit are constant drivers for their friendship, he said, noting that China and Arab states have set an example for South-South cooperation in pursuing mutually beneficial collaboration.

Inclusiveness and mutual learning are key values inherent in their friendship, he said, stressing that China and Arab states keep drawing wisdom from each other’s time-honored civilizations, and jointly promote “peace, harmony, integrity, and truth,” the very essence of civilization.

Seeking common development

Over the years, China and the Arab world have jointly pursued productive common development through mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. 

China and Arab states should focus on economic development and promote win-win cooperation, Xi said, stressing that they should strengthen synergy between their development strategies, and promote high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The two sides have established 17 cooperation mechanisms under the framework of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Over the past decade, trade has grown by $100 billion, with the total volume exceeding $300 billion. China’s direct investment in Arab states was up by 2.6 times in the period, with the stock of investment reaching $23 billion, and over 200 BRI projects have been carried out, benefiting nearly 2 billion people of the two sides.

“We are pleased to see the decision by the summit to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era and to formulate the Outline of the Comprehensive Cooperation Plan Between China and Arab States, laying out the blueprint for future China-Arab relations,” Xi said.

Fostering closer China-Arab community with shared future

As strategic partners, China and Arab states should carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and foster a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, so as to deliver greater benefits to their peoples and advance the cause of human progress, Xi said.

China and Arab states should stay independent and defend their common interests, Xi said, adding that China supports Arab states in independently exploring development paths suited to their national conditions and holding their future firmly in their own hands.

China is ready to deepen strategic mutual trust with Arab states, and firmly support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, Xi said, noting that the two sides should jointly uphold the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, practice true multilateralism, and defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

In 2014, Xi first proposed building a China-Arab community of common interests and a community of common destiny at the sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. The proposal was warmly welcomed by Arab countries.