Senior Chinese diplomat says Sino-Arab relations heading towards new partnership
A senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday that the Sino-Arab Cooperation
Forum (SACF) was helping China and Arab nations to establish a new partnership
in an era of growing globalization.
Song Aiguo, Chinese chairman of the
fourth meeting of senior officials of the SACF, made his remarks during an
interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the two-day meeting ended in the day
at the Arab League (AL) headquarters in Cairo.
The meeting, opened on
Wednesday, focused on the evaluation of previous plans of mutual exchange and
the preparation for the third SACF ministerial conference, slated for 2008 in
For the first time, China sent a large delegation of representatives
from eight governmental ministries and agencies to attend the meeting, said
Song, who was also head of West Asian and North African Department of the
Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The attendance of such a large Chinese delegation
testified to the deepening of Sino-Arab cooperation and the vigor of a new Sino-
Arab partnership, said the veteran diplomat.
Song said a long history of deep
and traditional friendship between China and Arab nations provided the basis for
both Sino- Arab cooperation and the new partnership.
Besides, China and Arab
countries were sharing wide consensus in many international affairs, and
complementing one another in the fields of economic cooperation and trade, said
Sino-Arab relations had developed steadily since the establishment of
the SACF in 2004 as both China and Arab nations shared a common political will
to develop bilateral ties, he said.
Against the backdrop of growing
globalization, China and Arab countries need to strengthen coordination and
expand cooperation for their common interests, Song said.
During the meeting,
the Chinese side demonstrated its willingness to deepen mutually beneficial
cooperation and relations based on the win-win approach, he said, adding that
the Arab side expressed their desire to enhance cooperation with China in
political, economic and trade, cultural, as well as environmental
Song also said that investment would be top on the agenda of the
third SACF ministerial meeting in Bahrain.
According to Song, trade between
China and the Arab nations in 2006 reached US$66.2 billion, up by about 40
percent over 2005.
As for the SACF mechanism, Song said that there was need
to enhance the construction of the mechanism with a gradual, phased and specific
plan to turn the will of both sides into reality.
The Sino-Arab forum was set
up in 2004 as a result of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the AL
headquarters in January of 2004, during which Hu put forward four proposals to
develop Sino- Arab partnership, including the establishment of such a
The first SACF ministerial conference was held in the Egyptian capital
in 2004 while the second ministerial meeting was held in 2006 in the Chinese