The Arab-China cooperation Forum was organised in Beijing recently at a time when the Arab-Chinese relations are witnessing a new round of cooperation and coordination in many positions of mutual concern. Each side is making continuous efforts to raise the level of mutual economic, trade and cultural relations.
The forum also came as the world is witnessing a “commercial war” between China and the United States, putting fuel to fire and “burning other countries” around the world as a result of the decisions taken by US President Trump, without taking into account the conventions, treaties and international organisations that regulate these relations.
A number of Chinese and Arab officials have shown interest in this event, which came out with an important document to follow in the coming decades.
Both China and the Arab countries encompass enormous potential of resources and accumulated expertise that will positively contribute to the interests of the two sides and combine to achieve the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative and build a joint future for both parties.
The Belt and Road initiative, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is of great importance in forming the mechanism for strengthening these activities and relationships.
Arab countries expressed their interest in China’s efforts to achieve this initiative within the context of its positive, clear and supportive stance towards Arab causes and its political role in maintaining peace in the world as well as its call for achieving comprehensive development in the Arab region by providing financial support to some Arab countries to reform their economic and social conditions.
Hence, the Chinese President announced at the last forum his intention to extend loans to some Arab countries worth $20 billion to achieve economic development.
It was stressed that these pledged loans are a part of China’s plans to strengthen its presence in the Middle East and North Africa, establish a strategic partnership for comprehensive cooperation, common development and future orientation, enhance employment opportunities within Arab societies and achieve growth in the production-based economy.
In the last two decades, China-Arab relations have witnessed many positive developments in all economic and cultural sectors. The volume of trade exchange between Arab countries and China has increased to $230 billion in 2017, making China second largest trading partner of Arab countries after the European Union.
It is this assertion that the ‘Beijing Declaration’ will be a new impetus to the path of growing relations between China and Arab countries, especially since China’s relations with some countries, like the Sultanate of Oman, are deep-rooted and whose ties date back to thousands of years.
The speech delivered by Chinese president at the forum is of great importance. No doubt this cooperation will later lead to future work, establishment of a new type of international relations, promoting community participation and activating international and regional issues, first and foremost the Palestinian conflict.
The Arab side has shown a lot of interest in finding cooperation in technology and alternative energy to fit its need for such vital projects, which requires joint collaboration to eliminate tension, create a favourable climate for investment in the region and keep political unrest at bay as a result of the continued Zionist attack on occupied Palestine and the challenges arising from this conflict in the region.
China is a political power of the Security Council alongside its economic power as a result of its superiority in many industries and products. China is also set to become the world’s largest economic power in the next two to three decades and oust the United States from this position.
Haider Al Lawati