China-Arab Expo: Strategic Partnership $ 244.3 billion in 2018
The fourth China-Arab States Expo began on Thursday, offering a good opportunity for both sides to reflect on their fruitful cooperation and solidify their strategic partnership that benefits both parties and the entire world.
The exhibition, scheduled for September 5 and 8 in Yinchuan, capital of the autonomous region of Ningxia Hui, northwest China, was attended by officials and businessmen from China and more than 20 Arab countries.
With the theme “New opportunity, new future”, the event will witness the signing of a series of trade and investment agreements that will give new impetus to Chinese-Arab cooperation.
The exhibition is part of the efforts of China and the Arab states to build a future-oriented strategic partnership of integral cooperation and common development, which exploits the full potential of strengthening their mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, promoting peace and development in the Middle East, and improve mutual support on the world stage.
The rapid ties between China and the Arabs are based on a solid land, as the two sides share common dreams for national rejuvenation. Under the direction of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who called for the construction of an Arab-Chinese community with a shared future, China and the Arab states have begun a new phase of strengthening bilateral cooperation.
In 2013, Xi proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to build a trade and infrastructure network that connects Asia with Africa and Europe along the trade routes of the former Silk Road that used to unite China with the Arab world and beyond.
In 2018, the Chinese leader urged the two sides to build a strategic partnership for the future of comprehensive cooperation and common development through the promotion of BRI cooperation.
The Chinese initiative created new opportunities for the Arab states, as the Middle East serves as a BRI center due to its unique geographical location that connects the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe.
The Arab world welcomes the BRI with open arms, with a total of 18 Arab countries that have signed BRI cooperation documents with China. This is mainly because the BRI perfectly complements the economic renewal plans of the Arab countries, including the 2030 Saudi vision, the 2035 Kuwaiti vision and the Abu Dhabi 2030 economic vision, which aims to diversify the economies of the countries Arabs and achieve sustainable development.
BRI China-Arab cooperation has already yielded tangible results, and China has significantly increased its investment and aid to the Middle East. Trade between China and the Arab states reached $ 244.3 billion in 2018, an increase of 28 percent since 2017, while Chinese direct investment in Arab countries totaled $ 1.2 billion.
Several BRI projects are under construction in the region. Chinese companies are building the central business district for the new Egyptian administrative capital in the country, the Hassyan clean coal power plant in Dubai and the Noor Complex, the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant in Morocco.
The BeiDou satellite navigation system, made in China, has also been applied in Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait and Sudan in areas such as precision agriculture, telecommunications and maritime monitoring.
For those Arab countries that are still mired in civil wars or poverty, China has been making great efforts to provide generous humanitarian aid and support to its peace efforts and reconstruction process.
In stark contrast to the selfish policies of some Western countries that have sown seeds of hatred, rivalries and conflicts in the Middle East, China offers an alternative to solve regional challenges, which advocates the search for peace through the joint promotion of dialogue and economic development.
China, with its enormous achievements in economic development and poverty alleviation in recent decades, is also ready to share its experience and knowledge with Arab countries.
Based on shared interests and dreams, the strategic partnership between China and the Arabs is destined to last and grow.