Chinese President Xi Jinping’s landmark Mideast trip from Dec 7 to 10 ushered in a new era of all-round and in-depth development of relations between China and Arab states, between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and between China and Saudi Arabia, said Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Wang, also member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, on Saturday briefed the media on Xi’s attendance at the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit as well as his state visit to Saudi Arabia.
During his stay in Saudi Arabia, Xi has not only attended the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit, and paid a state visit to Saudi Arabia, but also held bilateral meetings with nearly 20 Arab leaders, Wang said. He described Xi’s Mideast trip as China’s largest and highest-level diplomatic event with the Arab world since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Calling Xi’s attendance at the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit and his meetings with leaders of Saudi Arabia another great pioneering undertaking in China’s diplomacy, Wang said it has demonstrated the strategic choice of China and Arab countries to strengthen solidarity and coordination in the face of global challenges.
Wang recalled that Xi made a keynote speech at the first China-Arab States Summit, in which the Chinese president reviewed the time-honored history of friendly exchanges between the two sides, and refined the enduring spirit of the Chinese-Arab friendship that has spanned a thousand years.
The Chinese president proposed the construction of a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, with the focus on development of times and changes of the situation.
The important initiatives brought up by Xi at the summits have mapped out the route for advancement in the construction of a China-Arab community of shared future, and spelled out top-level designing for the development of Chinese-Arab relations in the new era, which meets the common aspiration and needs of both sides, according to Wang.
Leaders attending the summit echoed that the friendly relations between Arab states and China are based on mutual respect, equal cooperation and mutual benefit, Wang said.
Noting that the China-GCC Summit marks the first time leaders of China and GCC states got together, Wang said Xi’s speech keenly expounded on how to establish the China-GCC strategic partnership from the four aspects of unity, development, security and civilization.
Xi stressed that the two sides should be partners for greater solidarity, common development, common security and cultural prosperity, Wang recalled.
During his meetings with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Xi pointed out that China takes the development of its relations with Saudi Arabia as a priority in its overall foreign relations, in particular its diplomacy in the Middle East, and pushes for greater progress in the China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership, Wang said.
King Salman said that the two sides have reached important common understandings on many issues, and that what are China’s interests are Saudi Arabia’s interests as well, Wang noted.
The crown prince said that Saudi Arabia firmly supports China’s measures and efforts for deradicalization, and that more Chinese companies are welcomed to take an active part in the industrialization process of Saudi Arabia, Wang noted.
Wang said Xi actively promoted the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, elaborated on the Chinese path to modernization and the purpose of China’s foreign policy, and underlined that China will firmly pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, and create new opportunities for Arab states and all other countries with China’s new development.
Noting that the Palestinian issue bears on peace and stability in the Middle East and concerns international fairness and justice, Wang said Xi reiterated that China firmly supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the United Nations, and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestine.
Arab leaders reiterated their countries’ firm adherence to the one-China principle and unswerving support for China in safeguarding its core interests, Wang added.
Xi has had bilateral meetings with more than 40 state leaders during his three overseas tours before and after the 20th CPC National Congress in October, according to Wang.