BEIJING: The Sultanate and China on Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Dr Abdulmunim bin Mansour al Hasani, Minister of Information; Arken Imirbaki, Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and Chairman of the China-Arab Friendship Association, and Chinese government officials and ambassadors were present on the occasion. Oman and China signed an agreement for media exchange. The agreement was signed by Dr Al Hasani, while the Chinese side was represented by the Director of State Council Information Office (SCIO).
The agreement includes encouraging both sides to hold joint communications in the media field, exchange visits between the official news agencies, exchange of expertise and opinions on the media policies, exchange of news and programmes, encouraging joint coverage of economic and cultural news. Dr Al Hasani said: “Today we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations. This occasion is quite important to both nations. The Omani-Chinese relations were the result of the principles of peace-loving and communication among ancient civilisations.”
The minister of information noted in his speech that China represents a “historic civilisational centre which we consider as a friend to the Omani civilisation as both civilisations share several values such as the appreciation of knowledge, respect for peace and international relations”. He said Oman and China have always held consistent attitudes. They both agree on the importance of dialogue and mutual respect. Dr Al Hasani said that in May this year, the governments of Oman and China signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) dealing with cooperation within the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt (One Belt One Road Initiative).
In the media field, an MoU was signed between Oman News Agency (ONA) and Xinhua (New China) News Agency.
The Sultanate has become the fourth biggest Arab economic partner with China, which is another proof of the strong relations and understanding between the two countries and these relations can be further consolidated to achieve the aspirations of prosperity and well-being for both peoples in various fields, the minister said.
The minister affirmed that the leaders of Oman and China have agreed that both countries commit to continued cooperation in the fields of education, scientific research, tourism, media and youth.
In the field of academic cooperation, we are proud of His Majesty’s academic chair for Arabic studies at Peking University. The People’s Republic of China is keen on providing more chances for Omani students to complete their studies in China. From the Chinese side, Lin Yi, Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), in his speech, said the Sultanate is among the oldest countries in the Gulf region. He said since the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago, the relations of friendship and cooperation between the two countries have witnessed development in all fields.
In May this year, the two countries established strategic relations. The economic cooperation between Oman and China is considered a vital factor in bilateral relations as the Sultanate was the first GCC country to export oil to China. Dr Al Hasani unveiled a plaque and the postal stamp which symbolises the 40th anniversary of Oman-China diplomatic relations, in the presence of Arken Imirbaki. — ONA