The first China-Arab States Summit was held in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia on Dec. 9, local time. Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the summit and delivered a keynote speech.
He called on China and Arab states to carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship and foster a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, and said that China will work with the Arab side to advance eight major cooperation initiatives.
The top-level design for the development of the relations between China and Arab states in the new era, which conforms to the common aspiration and demands of both sides, received wide support from the leaders attending the Summit.
Xi said, “China and Arab states enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. We have come to know and befriend each other through the ancient Silk Road. We have shared weal and woe in our respective struggles for national liberation. We have conducted win-win cooperation in the tide of economic globalization. And we have upheld fairness and justice in the changing international environment. Together, China and Arab states have nurtured the spirit of friendship featuring ‘solidarity and mutual assistance, equality and mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and mutual learning.'”
Solidarity and mutual assistance is a distinct feature of China-Arab friendship. No matter how the international landscape evolves, China and Arab states have always trusted and firmly supported each other on issues involving their respective core interests. The China-Arab future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development is unbreakable.
Equality and mutual benefit is a constant driver for China-Arab friendship. China and Arab states pursue mutually beneficial collaboration. They have established 17 cooperation mechanisms under the framework of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, reaped fruitful outcomes in economic cooperation, and benefited nearly two billion people of the two sides with Belt and Road projects, setting an example for South-South cooperation.
Inclusiveness and mutual learning is a key value inherent in China-Arab friendship. The two sides stay true to their principles despite the clamour for “clash of civilizations,” advocate together inter-civilizational dialogue, oppose discrimination against particular civilizations, and endeavor to safeguard the diversity of world civilizations. They have made important contributions to advancing human civilizations.
The spirit of China-Arab friendship is a precious spiritual treasure of the two sides, which offers important guidance for the China-Arab strategic partnership to achieve new development based on past achievements.
The world today is in a new period of turbulence and transformation. China and Arab states are seeing similar historical opportunities and challenges. The practical significance and the values of the times of enhancing solidarity and cooperation between the two sides have become more prominent.
Xi stressed in his speech that China and Arab states should stay independent and defend their common interests, focus on economic development and promote win-win cooperation, uphold regional peace and strive for common security and increase exchanges among civilizations to enhance mutual understanding and trust.
He announced that as the first follow-up step of the decision by the Summit to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era and to formulate the Outline of the Comprehensive Cooperation Plan Between China and Arab States, China will, in the next three to five years, work with the Arab side to advance eight major cooperation initiatives in areas including development support, food security, public health, green innovation, energy security, inter-civilizational dialogue, youth development, and security and stability.
Leaders at the Summit noted that the friendly relations between Arab states and China are built on the basis of mutual respect, cooperation as equals and mutual benefit, adding that the Arab side attaches high importance to China’s great development achievements and important role in the world.
They believe that deepening Arab-China strategic partnership would help bring about equity and justice and uphold world peace, prosperity and development, and meet the demands of the two peoples.
The first China-Arab States Summit not only marked a milestone in the history of China-Arab relations, but also carried important global significance and profound historical impacts beyond the bilateral and regional levels.
The Summit issued the Riyadh Declaration of the First China-Arab States Summit, which announced that China and Arab states agree to make all-out efforts to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era, enhance solidarity and collaboration, assist each other in their respective national rejuvenation, promote regional peace and development, safeguard international peace and justice, and contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
They resolved to maintain political consultation and render mutual support on issues concerning their respective core interests and major concerns, and to enhance solidarity on international issues of common concerns on various international occasions.
The declaration stressed a firm adherence to the one-China principle on the Taiwan question and issues related to Hong Kong and Xinjiang. It has incorporated major Chinese initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the shared values of all humanity.
The Summit issued the Outline of the Comprehensive Cooperation Plan Between the People’s Republic of China and Arab States and a document on Deepening the Sino-Arab Strategic Partnership for Peace and Development.
These fruitful results achieved by the Summit represent the strategic consensus reached by China and Arab states on the development of their relations and on major regional and international issues. They also showcase the sense of responsibility of the two sides in enhancing solidarity and safeguarding multilateralism.
A great cause begins with a dream and turns into reality through hard work. Looking into the future, China and Arab states will carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, jointly build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era, and usher in an even brighter future for their relations, to bring more benefits to the two peoples and inject huge positive energy into maintaining peace, promoting development, safeguarding justice and pursuing progress.
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