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Most young Arabs see China as ally, poll finds

By ZHOU JIN | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-06-27 23:01

A majority of young Arab respondents in a recent survey consider China to be an ally of their respective countries, showing their increasingly favorable sentiments toward Beijing.

According to an annual survey, conducted by Dubai-based public relations firm Asda'a BCW from March 27 to April 12, 80 percent of respondents viewed China as an ally, while 82 percent of young Arabs said they saw Turkiye as an ally. The United States ranked seventh among countries viewed as allies, at 72 percent.

The survey, in its 15th year, included face-to-face interviews with 3,600 Arabs ages 18 to 24 in 53 cities in 18 Arab countries.

According to the results, 61 percent of respondents supported the US disengaging from the Middle East region.

The survey also found that 28 percent of young Arabs think the conflict in Ukraine will ultimately be resolved through diplomatic negotiations.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said at a news conference on Tuesday that the survey results show that Arab friends, especially the young generation, see China as a sincere, amicable and trusted friend.

In recent years, many surveys have found increasingly favorable sentiments among people in Arab countries toward China, Mao said.

Noting that China and Arab countries enjoy a long-standing tradition of friendly exchanges, she said that young people are the ones to carry forward this traditional friendship, and they represent the sources of strength and hope for China-Arab friendly cooperation.

At the end of 2022, President Xi Jinping attended the first China-Arab States Summit and put forward eight major initiatives on China-Arab practical cooperation, including one on youth development.

The China-Arab youth friendship ambassadors 2023 program, which will bring nearly 100 Arab youths to China for exchanges, will soon be jointly launched, according to Mao.

"We stand ready to work with Arab countries to continue enhancing youth exchanges and cement the public foundation for building a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era," she said.

China is the largest trading partner of Arab countries, while Arab countries have become China's seventh-largest trading partner and largest crude oil supplier.

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