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President Xi Jinping Attends the First China-Arab States Summit and Delivers a Keynote Speech, Underscoring the Importance of Carrying Forward the Spirit of China-Arab Friendship Featuring Solidarity and Mutual Assistance, Equality and Mutual Benefit, and Inclusiveness and Mutual Learning and Jointly Building a China-Arab Community with a Shared Future in the New Era

2022-12-10 11:10

On the afternoon of December 9 local time, the first China-Arab States Summit was held at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. The Summit issued the Riyadh Declaration of the First China-Arab States Summit which announced that China and Arab States agreed to make all-out efforts to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era. 

President Xi Jinping attended the Summit with leaders from 21 countries of the Arab League, including Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi of Egypt, King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalif of Bahrain, Crown Prince Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait, President Kais Saied of Tunisia, President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar, President Azali Assoumani of Comoros, President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani of Iraq, Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch of Morocco, Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane of Algeria, Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon, as well as Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit of the Arab League and heads of other international organizations.

President Xi delivered a keynote speech entitled “Carrying Forward the Spirit of China-Arab Friendship and Jointly Building a China-Arab Community with a Shared Future in the New Era” at the Summit.

President Xi pointed out that China and Arab states enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. The two sides have come to know and befriend each other through the ancient Silk Road, shared weal and woe in their respective struggles for national liberation, conducted win-win cooperation in the tide of economic globalization, and 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. China and Arab states trust each other and firmly support each other on issues involving their respective core interests. The China-Arab strategic partnership is unbreakable. Equality and mutual benefit is a constant driver for their friendship. China and Arab states have set an example for South-South cooperation in pursuing mutually beneficial collaboration. Inclusiveness and mutual learning is a key value inherent in their friendship. China and Arab states appreciate and learn from each other. The two sides advocate together inter-civilizational dialogue and endeavor to safeguard the diversity of world civilizations.

President Xi underscored that the world today is in a new period of turbulence and transformation. The Middle East is undergoing new and profound changes. The aspiration of the Arab people for peace and development is much more compelling, and their call for equity and justice is stronger than ever. As strategic partners, China and Arab states should carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and foster a closer China-Arab community with a shared future, so as to deliver greater benefits to the peoples and advance the cause of human progress.

— China and Arab states should stay independent and defend their common interests. China supports Arab states in independently exploring development paths suited to their national conditions and holding their future firmly in their own hands. China is ready to deepen strategic mutual trust with Arab states, and firmly support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity. The two sides should jointly uphold the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, practice true multilateralism, and defend the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries.

— China and Arab states should focus on economic development and promote win-win cooperation. The two sides should strengthen synergy between their development strategies, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. They should consolidate cooperation in traditional areas including economy and trade, energy and infrastructure development. In the meantime, the two sides should strengthen new sources of growth such as green and low-carbon development, health and medical services, and investment and finance, and expand new frontiers including aviation and aerospace, digital economy and peaceful use of nuclear energy. China and Arab states should also tackle major challenges like food security and energy security. China will work with the Arab side to implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and drive sustainable development of South-South cooperation.

— China and Arab states should uphold regional peace and strive for common security. China supports the Arab side in promoting political settlement of hotspot and challenging issues with Arab wisdom, and build a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security architecture in the Middle East. China urges the international community to respect the role of the Middle East people as masters of their own affairs, and add positive energy to the security and stability of the region. China welcomes the Arab side to participate in the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and will continue to contribute Chinese wisdom to promoting peace and tranquility in the Middle East.

— China and Arab states should increase exchanges among civilizations to enhance mutual understanding and trust. The two sides need to increase personnel exchange, deepen people-to-people cooperation, and promote the exchange of governance experience. The two sides need to jointly oppose Islamophobia, carry out cooperation on deradicalization, and reject association of terrorism with any particular ethnic group or religion. China and Arab states need to advocate humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, and set an example of inter-civilizational exchanges and mutual learning in the new era.

President Xi pointed out that as the first follow-up step of building a China-Arab community with a shared future and implementing 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, and will strive for early harvest.

President Xi stressed that the Palestinian issue bears on peace and stability in the Middle East. The historical injustices done to the Palestinian people should not be left unattended indefinitely. The legitimate rights and interests of a nation are not up for trade, and the demand to establish an independent state shall not be denied. The international community should stay firm in its commitment to the two-state solution and the principle of “land for peace”, make resolute efforts to promote peace talks, and strive for a just settlement of the Palestinian issue at an early date. China will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestine and support livelihood projects in the country.

Toward the end of his remarks, President Xi pointed out that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China laid out the tasks and path of advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through Chinese modernization. China will stay committed to upholding world peace, promoting common development, and building a community with a shared future for mankind. By doing so, China wishes to create new opportunities for Arab states and all other countries with China’s new development. At the Summit, China and Arab states agreed to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era, which is an epoch-making milestone in China-Arab relations. China stands ready to take this as a new starting point and work with the Arab side to carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, open up broader prospects for China-Arab cooperation, and usher in an even brighter future for China-Arab relations.

On behalf of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman welcomed leaders of relevant countries to the first Arab States-China Summit and extended congratulations on its full success. 

Arab leaders at the Summit actively echoed President Xi’s important speech and the eight major cooperation initiatives he proposed. They noted that the friendly relations between Arab states and China are built on the basis of mutual respect, cooperation as equals and mutual benefit. The Arab side attaches high importance to China’s great development achievements and important role in the world. They highly commend China for putting forth the Belt and Road Initiative, the GDI and the GSI. They also highly recognize China’s important propositions for facilitating political settlement of regional hotspot issues, its consistent support for the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people, and its commitment to upholding justice in the international community. In a world in danger of division and confrontation and still haunted by unilateralism and hegemony, deepening Arab-China strategic partnership would help bring about equity and justice and uphold world peace, prosperity and development. The opportune Arab States-China Summit reflects the high-level of Arab-China relations and represents a continuation and development of the Arab States-China Cooperation Forum. Through this Summit, the Arab side hopes to further cement the friendship and mutual trust between Arab States and China, make comprehensive plans for and strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, build an Arab-China community with a shared future in the new era and bring the Arab-China comprehensive strategic partnership to a new and higher level, so as to better serve the common interests of Arab states and China, and realize the shared aspirations of the Arab and Chinese people. It is believed that this Summit will become an important milestone in the history of Arab-China relations. The Arab side upholds independence and autonomy, and is firmly committed to the one-China principle. It will continue to firmly support China on issues concerning China’s core interests and oppose any hostile actions targeted against China. The Arab side hopes to work with China to deliver on the outcomes of this Summit, advance the eight major cooperation initiatives, continue to promote Belt and Road cooperation, step up communication and coordination on international and regional affairs, respond to climate change, food security, energy security and other common challenges through cooperation, step up people-to-people exchanges, enhance inter-civilizational dialogue and make positive contribution to peace and common development 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.

A number of cooperation documents on Belt and Road cooperation, energy, food, investment, green development, security, aerospace and other fields have been signed and reached by relevant Chinese authorities and the Arab side, the General Secretariat of the Arab League and the affiliated bodies of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Ding Xuexiang, Wang Yi and He Lifeng were present at the Summit.

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