Opinion / Web Comments

Sino-Arab friendship strengthens over the years

By Qi Li (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2012-06-01 10:21
Visitors to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo would undoubtedly have been deeply impressed by the state-of-the-art pavilion of Saudi Arabia, the "Moon Boat" where it had the world's biggest 3D high-resolution screen, where more than four million visitors found out abuot the unique lifestyle and culture of the Arabian kingdom.

While the Saudi show gave the Chinese audience a taste of that lovely Arab country, it was also an opportunity for the Saudis and other Arab friends to see the passion and affection of the Chinese people toward them.

The pavilion was so popular that people would wait to have a glimpse, and the award-winning building was handed over by the Saudi Government as a present to the municipal government of Shanghai.

But the interaction between the Chinese and the Arab peoples at the Shanghai Expo was just a small reflection of a much bigger picture. It is not only the "Moon Boat" that has brought the fascinating Arab culture to the land of the Yangtze River and the Yellow River and offered that adventurous rendezvous, but super-jumbo jets from the Arab world that bring students, business people others to various places in China such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Yiwu on a daily basis.

There are now more than 8,000 Arab students studying in different universities all over China. The number of businessmen exceeds that figure by far and Arab traders can be easily spotted in the busy streets of Guangzhou and Yiwu. Last year, trade volume between the two sides reached $196 billion. Chinese visitors including business people and tourists to the Arab world are also increasing at a very fast and steady pace.

All of this points to the close and friendly ties that China and the 21 Arab countries enjoy. In 2010, the "strategic and cooperative relationship" between China and the Arab countries was declared during the Fourth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Tianjin. And that surely is no coincidence.

Political mutual trust and exchange of support

China has long stood by the side of the Arab people in their causes for peace and national rights. China is a staunch supporter of the Middle East peace process and a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question, and has repeatedly called for the settlement of the question on the basis of relevant UN resolutions that ensure the legitimate rights of the Palestinian and Arab people. Special envoys of Chinese government have been appointed to serve that purpose. Meanwhile, the Arab countries have all along respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and the "one China" policy, as well as other issues concerning China's core interests. Mutual respect and the aspiration for a peaceful and balanced world have brought the two sides closer.

Since the establishment of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in 2004, political mutual trust has been significantly enhanced through high-level visits and consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues where the two sides have found a lot of common ground.

After the historic visit by President Hu Jintao to the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo in 2004, four ministerial meetings within the CASCF framework have taken place in Beijing, Tianjin and Arab capitals alternately. China attaches great importance to its relations with Arab countries and the Chinese leadership and Arab leaders frequently exchange visits including a recent one in January by Premier Wen Jiabao to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Al-Araby had also made a successful trip to China in May during which he held fruitful talks with Chinese officials and exchanged views on bilateral and international issues where consensus was reached and a strong political will was expressed to accelerate cooperation between China and the Arab countries in an all-round manner.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Most Viewed Today's Top News