Friendship between China and Arab States dates back to ancient times. Over two thousand years ago, land and maritime Silk Roads already linked the Chinese and Arab nations. In the long stretches of history, peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, learning from each other, mutual benefit and win-win results have always been the main theme of exchanges between China and Arab countries.
The founding of the People's Republic of China and the independence of Arab countries created a new era for China-Arab friendly exchanges. From 1956 to 1990, China established diplomatic relations with all 22 Arab countries. China firmly supports Arab national liberation movement, firmly supports Arab countries' struggle to uphold sovereignty and territorial integrity, pursue and safeguard national interests, and combat external interference and aggression, and firmly supports Arab countries' cause of developing the national economy and building up the countries. Arab countries have given China strong support in restoring its lawful seat at the United Nations and on issues like the Taiwan question.
After the end of the Cold War, both China and Arab countries have followed the world trend of peace, development and cooperation, respected each other, treated each other as equals,and committed themselves to deepening the traditional friendship and the bilateral relations. Cooperation in political, trade and economic, scientific and technological, cultural and educational, military, health, sports, news and other fields has achieved fruitful results, thus enabling the establishment of the friendly and cooperative relationship oriented toward the 21st century.
In 2004, China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was set up. Since then, it has developed into a collective cooperation platform covering many fields and with more than ten mechanisms. In 2010, China and Arab countries established the strategic cooperative relations of comprehensive cooperation and common development, and China-Arab collective cooperation entered a new stage of comprehensive development and upgrading. President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, identifying key areas and priority directions of China-Arab collective cooperation, and providing guidance for the development of the China-Arab relations and the Forum.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Arab countries 60 years ago, cooperation in all fields has been constantly deepened. China has built comprehensive strategic partnership, strategic partnership or strategic cooperative partnership with eight Arab countries, and has set up a strategic dialogue mechanism with the Gulf Cooperation Council. Arab countries as a whole have become China's biggest supplier of crude oil and the 7th biggest trading partner. China's proposed initiatives of jointly building the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road", establishing a "1+2+3" cooperation pattern (to take energy cooperation as the core, infrastructure construction and trade and investment facilitation as the two wings, and three high and new tech fields of nuclear energy, space satellite and new energy as the three breakthroughs), and industrial capacity cooperation, are well received by Arab countries.
Both sides have broad consensus on safeguarding state sovereignty and territorial integrity, defending national dignity, seeking political resolution to hotspot issues, and promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. We share similar views on issues such as reform of the United Nations, climate change and Doha Round trade negotiations, and maintained sound coordination and cooperation. Cultural and educational exchanges are more frequent and people-to-people ties are getting closer with enhanced mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
Over the past 60 years, China-Arab friendly cooperation has made historic leaps in breadth and depth. It has become a model of South-South cooperation and gained the following successful experience: both sides have always respected and treated each other as equals and remained brothers, friends and partners no matter what happens on the world arena; both sides have insisted on the principle of mutual benefit, win-win and common development and have pursued common interest and sustainable development no matter what changes or developments take place on either side; and both sides have promoted dialogue, exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, and have always respected each other's social system and development path no matter what differences exist in ideology.
The Chinese government has issued the first China's Arab Policy Paper on the basis of reviewing and summarizing the experience in the development of China-Arab relations. It stipulates the guiding principle for developing China-Arab relations, offers the blueprint for China-Arab mutually beneficial cooperation, and reiterates the political will of commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East, in order to promote China-Arab relations to a new and higher level.
Part I Deepen China-Arab Strategic Cooperative Relations of Comprehensive Cooperation and Common Development
The world is experiencing profound and complex changes. The trend toward a multipolar world and economic globalization is deepening, and cultural diversity and the information society continue to move forward. Changes in the international configuration and international order are accelerating. All countries in the world are seizing the opportunity to readjust their development strategies, promote reform and innovation, speed up economic transformation and open up new development horizons. At the same time, the world economy is still in a period of deep transformation, with geopolitical factors becoming more prominent, regional turbulences rising one after another, non-traditional security and global challenges increasing and the gap between the North and the South widening. It remains an arduous journey to advance mankind's noble cause of peace and development.
China is the largest developing country in the world and is working hard to realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, which is to build a strong, prosperous, democratic, culturally-advanced and harmonious modern socialist country. China will continue to uphold the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation, be committed to peaceful development, pursue a win-win strategy of opening up and promote the formation of a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.
Arab states are situated in the converging area of the Asian and African continents, characterized by religious and cultural diversities, time-honored culture and history, unique resource endowment and great potentials for development. Currently, Arab states are independently exploring the development paths suited to their own national realities. They are committed to pursuing industrialization, enhancing employment and improving people's livelihood. They are active in promoting peace and stability in the region and are playing important roles in regional and international affairs.
China and Arab states are both developing countries with their combined territory, population and ecomonic aggregate accounting for 1/6, 1/4 and 1/8 of the world's total respectively. Different in natural endowment and development level, China and Arab countries are all in an important development stage and have a shared mission of rejuvenating the nation. We need to collaborate with each other more closely, and learn from each other along the road of development, strengthen cooperation in seeking common development and promoting regional peace, and echo each other in building a new type of international relations, so as to safeguard state sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and to promote stability, economic development and well-being of our peoples.
China will continue to carry forward China-Arab traditional friendship, enrich and deepen our all-round, multi-layer, wide-ranging cooperation, promote sustainable and sound development of our strategic cooperative relations featuring all-round cooperation and common development, and safeguard peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large.
Part II China's Arab Policy
Arab states are China's important partners in following the peaceful development path, strengthening unity and cooperation among developing countries and establishing a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at its core. China has always approached the China-Arab relations from a strategic height. It is China's long-held diplomatic principle to consolidate and deepen China-Arab traditional friendship. China will adhere to the right approach to justice and interests and promote peace, stability and development of Arab states while seeking better development of China, to achieve win-win cooperation, common development and a better future of the China-Arab strategic and cooperative relations.
China upholds the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, namely, mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence. China supports the Middle East peace process and the establishment of an independent state of Palestine with full sovereignty, based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports the Arab League and its member states' efforts to this end. We adhere to political solution to regional hot-spot issues, and support the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free and WMD-free zone in the Middle East. We support positive efforts made by Arab states in strengthening unity, curbing the spread of extremist thoughts and fighting terrorism. China respects choices made by the Arab people, and supports Arab states in exploring their own development paths suited to their national conditions. We hope to enhance the sharing of governance experience with Arab states.
China is willing to have pragmatic cooperation in the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results with Arab states. In particular, in the process of jointly pursuing the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, China is willing to coordinate development strategies with Arab states, put into play each other's advantages and potentials, promote international production capacity cooperation and enhance cooperation in the fields of infrastructure construction, trade and investment facilitation, nuclear power, space satellite, new energy, agriculture and finance, so as to achieve common progress and development and benefit our two peoples. China is willing to cooperate with Arab states to promote the new type of cooperation mechanism featuring openness and reciprocality, mutual benefit and win-win results. According to Arab states' needs, China will continue to provide assistance within our means to Arab states through bilateral and multilateral channels, to help them improve self-development capability and people's livelihood.
China is willing to work with Arab states to contribute to diversified development and mutual learning among world civilizations. We will enhance people-to-people exchanges, strengthen cooperation in such areas as science, education, culture, health, radio, film and television, deepen understanding and friendship between the two peoples, promote mutual learning and integration between the two cultures, build a communication bridge between the two peoples, and jointly contribute to the progress of human civilization.
China is willing to strengthen consultation and coordination with Arab states, and jointly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, safeguard international equity and justice, and make the international order more fair and just. On major international issues, such as the United Nations reform, climate change, food and energy security, both sides respect each other's core interests and major concerns, support each other's justifiable demand and reasonable propositions, and staunchly safeguard the common interests of developing countries.
Part III Strengthen China-Arab Cooperation in an All-around Manner
1. Political Cooperation
1.1 High-Level Exchanges
We will keep the momentum of high-level exchanges and dialogues, make full use of meetings between high-level officials to guide the development of China-Arab relations. We will strengthen communication on bilateral relations and important issues of mutual concern, increase exchanges of experience of governance and economic development, consolidate political mutual trust, broaden common interests and boost practical cooperation.
1.2 Intergovernmental Consultation and Cooperation Mechanisms
We will further improve the mechanism of China-Arab intergovernmental consultation and cooperation, make the best of bilateral and multilateral mechanisms, such as the strategic dialogue and political consultation, and enhance exchanges and communication, in order to realize common development.
1.3 Exchanges between Legislatures, Political Parties and Local Governments
On the basis of mutual respect, deepening understanding and expanding cooperation, the National People's Congress of China is willing to further expand multi-level and multi-channel exchanges and cooperation with legislatures of Arab states.
In the principle of independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs, the Communist Party of China is willing to further enhance exchanges with friendly political parties and organizations in Arab countries, consolidating the political foundation of China-Arab relations.
We will continue to boost exchanges between local governments, strengthen the mechanism of China-Arab City Forum, support the establishment of more sister cities or provinces, and promote exchanges and cooperation on local development and administration.
1.4 Cooperation on International Affairs
We will strengthen consultation in international affairs, maintain communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, support each other on issues of core interests or major concern. We will keep closer cooperation and coordination in international organizations and defend the common interests of the two sides and all developing countries.
We will jointly uphold the international order and international system with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at its core. We are actively involved in building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and jointly promoting world peace and development. We support the UN in playing a leading role in maintaining peace, promoting common development and enhancing international cooperation. We support the UN to undergo necessary and reasonable reforms and increase the representation and voice of developing countries, including Arab states, at the UN Security Council.
1.5 The Taiwan Question
The Taiwan question concerns the core interests of China. The one-China principle is the important basis for China to establish and develop relations with Arab states and regional organizations. Arab states and regional organizations have always been committed to the one-China principle, refrained from having any official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan, and supported China in peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and the great cause of national reunification. China appreciates all these.
2. Investment and Trade Cooperation
2.1 The "Belt and Road" Initiative
Joint efforts will be made by China and Arab countries to promote the "Belt and Road" initiative under the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit. China and Arab countries will adopt the "1+2+3" cooperation pattern to upgrade pragmatic cooperation by taking energy cooperation as the core, infrastructure construction and trade and investment facilitation as the two wings, and high and new technologies in the fields of nuclear energy, space satellite and new energy as the three breakthroughs.
2.2 Cooperation on Production Capacity
Following the principle of market-oriented business operation in which enterprises serve as the main player and government as the facilitator, we will combine China's advantage of production capacity with demands of Arab states, carry out with Arab states advanced, suitable, effective, employment-oriented and environment-friendly production capacity cooperation, supporting Arab states in their efforts to realize industrialization.
2.3 Investment Cooperation
On the basis of equality and mutually beneficial cooperation for win-win results, we encourage and support the expansion and optimization of mutual investment by enterprises from the two sides. We will expand cooperation areas, diversify cooperation methods, broaden investment and financing channels and strengthen cooperation on two-way investment and financing through equities and debts as well as the use of loans, mezzanine financing, direct investment and funds. China is ready to continue to provide foreign-aid loan on favorable terms to Arab countries, as well as export credits and overseas investment insurance. We will push for the signing of agreements with Arab countries on avoiding double taxation and tax evasion, thus creating a sound investment environment, providing convenience to investors from both sides and protecting their legitimate rights and interests.
We support the entry of more non-oil products from Arab states into the Chinese market. We will continue to improve the trade structure and push for sustained and steady development of two-way trade. We will strengthen exchanges and consultations between Chinese and Arab trade authorities, complete China-GCC FTA negotiations and sign a free trade agreement at an early date. We will oppose trade protectionism and actively remove non-tariff trade barriers, properly resolve trade disputes and frictions through friendly consultations, and gradually establish bilateral and multilateral mechanisms of early warning for trade disputes and cooperation on trade remedies. We will step up cooperation on inspection and quarantine, speed up the alignment of standards, enhance personnel exchanges and training and jointly crack down on fake and shoddy goods in exports and imports.
2.5 Energy Cooperation
We will carry out cooperation on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit, promote and support investment cooperation with Arab countries in the field of petroleum and natural gas, in particular, investment cooperation on oil prospecting, extraction, transportation and refining, and advance the synergizing of oilfield engineering technology service, equipment trade, and industrial standards. We will strengthen cooperation on renewable energy such as solar energy, wind energy and hydropower. We will jointly build the China-Arab clear energy training center and develop all-round cooperation in related areas.
2.6 Infrastructure Construction
We encourage and support broader participation by Chinese companies and financial institutions in the cooperation with Arab countries in such areas as railway, highway, ports, aviation, power, communications, Beidou Navigation Satellite, satellite ground stations and other infrastructure development fields and more extensive cooperation on project operation. According to the priority areas of development and needs of Arab countries, we will be actively engaged in cooperation on major projects in Arab countries to constantly improve Arab countries' infrastructure.
2.7 Space Cooperation
We will further develop space cooperation with Arab countries, actively explore joint projects in such fields as space technology, satellites and their application, space education and training, accelerate the applying of the Beidou Navigation Satellite system in Arab countries, and promote exchanges and cooperation on manned spaceflight, so as to enhance the level of cooperation in this field.
2.8 Civilian Nuclear Cooperation
We will strengthen China-Arab cooperation on the design and construction of nuclear power plants and nuclear technology training. We will be actively engaged in cooperation covering the whole nuclear industrial chain, and promote cooperation between the two sides in basic scientific research, nuclear fuels, research reactors, application of nuclear technologies, nuclear security, disposal of radioactive wastes, emergency responses and nuclear safety. We will accelerate the joint efforts of building an Arab training center for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and upgrade the level of cooperation in the nuclear field.
2.9 Financial Cooperation
We support the establishment of branches in each other's countries by qualified financial institutions from both sides, and multi-sector operation cooperation, as well as strengthened exchanges and cooperation between regulators. We will strengthen monetary cooperation between central banks, discuss the expansion of cross-border currency clearing and currency swap arrangements, and increase financing insurance support. We will strengthen coordination and cooperation in international financial organizations and mechanisms, improve and reform the international financial system, and increase the voice and representation of developing countries. China welcomes the Arab countries to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and their active role in it.
2.10 Development of Economic and Trade Cooperation Mechanisms and Platforms
We will give full play to the role of the inter-governmental economic and trade joint commissions, the China-Arab Joint Chamber of Commerce and other bilateral or multilateral mechanisms, make full use of China-Arab States Expo and other platforms, and promote the exchange of visits and communication between governments and enterprises of the two sides.
3. Social Development
3.1 Health Care
We will strengthen exchanges and cooperation in traditional and modern medicine, pay attention to the prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, especially to cooperation on information sharing and monitoring of epidemics, and promote exchange of visits by experts from both sides. We will advance cooperation between medical institutions and enhance exchanges on clinical technology. We will continue to send medical teams and continuously improve service.
3.2 Education and Human Resources Development
We will strengthen cooperation on education and human resources development, expand the scale and innovate the ways of cooperation. We encourage colleges and universities from both sides to carry out joint scientific research in history and culture, scientific and technological application, region and country-specific studies. We will promote the development of China-Jordan University, support China-Arab joint personnel training, expand the scale of exchanges of students, and gradually increase the number of government exchange scholarships, the proportion of graduate students and the number of disciplines. We will strengthen education of the Chinese language in Arab countries, and support training programs of Chinese language teachers in Arab countries. We will be actively engaged in vocational education exchanges and cooperation, and share best practices.
3.3 Cooperation on Science and Technology
We will accelerate the development of China-Arab inter-governmental science and technology innovation cooperation mechanism. We will implement the China-Arab partner project of science and technology and continue to improve the science and technology capability of Arab states.
Through the China-Arab technology transfer center, we will establish a China-Arab collaboration network of integrated technology transfer. We will implement the "Outstanding Young Scientist Coming to China Project" and encourage the exchanges between young scientific talents of China and Arab states.
We will jointly establish a batch of joint national laboratories, joint research centers and specialized science parks, set up platforms for enterprises to go global and encourage hi-tech Chinese enterprises to innovate, start businesses and establish R&D centers in Arab States. We will invite Arab technicians to participate in technology training courses for developing countries organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China. We will actively promote the application and spread of technological achievements and advanced applied technologies of China and Arab states in each other's countries.
3.4 Agricultural Cooperation
We will strengthen China-Arab bilateral and multilateral cooperation in such fields as arid zone agriculture, water-saving irrigation, muslim food, food security, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine. We encourage agricultural science and technology personnel from the two sides to increase exchanges. We will continue to set up demonstration projects of agricultural technology in Arab countries, scale up agricultural management and technology training, and strengthen project follow-up and evaluation.
3.5 Cooperation on Addressing Climate Change, Environmental Protection and Forestry
We will vigorously promote communication and coordination with Arab States within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity and United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Control of Desertification. We will be actively engaged in exchanges and cooperation through bilateral and multilateral channels on policy dialogue and information sharing, environmental legislation, water, air and soil pollution control and treatment, environmental protection awareness, environmental impact assessment, environmental monitoring, environmental protection industries and technologies, bio-diversity protection, prevention and control of desertification, arid zone forestry, forest management, training of environmental staff and holding seminars. We will work together to enhance our capability of addressing climate change and environmental protection.
4. Culture and People-to-people Exchanges
4.1 Exchanges Among Civilizations and Religions
We will promote dialogue between civilizations and promote exchanges between different religions. We will build bilateral and multilateral platforms for religious exchanges, advocate religious harmony and tolerance, explore cooperation on eradicating extremism, and jointly contain the breeding and expansion of extremism.
4.2 Cooperation on Culture, Broadcasting, Film, Television, Press, Publication and Think Tanks
We encourage regular exchange of visits of cultural officials, friendly partnership between cultural institutions and experience sharing between the two sides. We encourage mutual establishment of culture centers, and support holding culture years and participating in art festivals hosted by the other side. We will fulfill the plan of "China-Arab exchange of visits by 10, 000 artists", strengthen cultivation of cultural professionals and cooperation of culture industries.
We will enhance China-Arab news media dialogue and cooperation, deepen business exchanges, news articles exchange and personnel training. We will support joint interviews, joint productions and joint operation of media institutions. The two sides will boost cooperation on broadcasting, film and television exchanges, and will continue to hold China-Arab broadcasting and television cooperation forum, conduct translation and authorized broadcasting of television programs and carry out broadcasting and television technology and industry cooperation. We encourage the two sides to hold film weeks of, send film delegations to and actively participate in international film festivals hosted by the other side. We will translate and dub some Chinese artistic works into Arabic and vice versa. We encourage Arab States Broadcasting Union to cooperate with China Radio International and the Arabic Channel of China Central Television.
We encourage cooperation of press and publication institutions of the two sides, actively implenent the "Memorandum of China-Arab Project of Mutual Translation and Publication of Ancient Books", and encourage and support publishers from the two sides to take part in international book fairs hosted by each other.
We will enhance exchanges of experts and scholars from the two sides and actively explore the establishment of a long-term China-Arab exchange mechanism of think tanks.
4.3 Exchanges Between Non-governmental Organizations, Youth and Women
We will continue to enhance non-governmental exchanges, improve the mechanism of China-Arab friendship conference, and provide more support to China-Arab friendship associations. We encourage and support orderly exchanges of various forms between non-governmental organizations and social groups.
We will actively promote China-Arab youth communications, and enhance exchanges between departments of youth affairs and young elites from all walks of life of the two sides.
We will continue to strengthen China-Arab exchanges and cooperation on gender equality, encourage and support high-level dialogues, seminars, cultural exchanges and capacity-building activities between departments and organizations in charge of women's affairs.
4.4 Cooperation on Tourism
We encourage tourism departments and businesses to introduce tourism resources and products to each other and carry out tourism cooperation. The Chinese side welcomes Arab states' application for the Approved Destination Status for outbound group tours by Chinese tourists.
5. Cooperation in the Field of Peace and Security
5.1 Regional Security
China calls for a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in the Middle East, and supports Arab and regional countries in their efforts to build an inclusive and shared regional collective cooperation security mechanism, so as to realize long-term peace, prosperity and development in the Middle East.
5.2 Military Cooperation
We will deepen China-Arab military cooperation and exchange. We will strengthen exchange of visits of military officials, expand military personnel exchange, deepen cooperation on weapons, equipment and various specialized technologies, and carry out joint military exercises. We will continue to support the development of national defence and military forces of Arab States to maintain peace and security of the region .
5.3 Anti-terrorism Cooperation
We resolutely oppose and condemn all forms of terrorism, and oppose coupling terrorism with any specific ethnic group or religion as well as double standards. We support the efforts of Arab States in countering terrorism and support their counter-terrorism capacity building. The Chinese side believes that counter-terrorism needs comprehensive measures to address both the symptoms and root causes, and counter-terrorism operations should comply with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international norms, and respect sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries.
China is ready to strengthen anti-terrorism exchanges and cooperation with Arab countries to establish a long-term security cooperation mechanism, strengthen policy dialogue and intelligence information exchange, and carry out technical cooperation and personnel training to jointly address the threat of international and regional terrorism.
5.4 Consular, Immigration, Judicial and Police Cooperation
We will earnestly safeguard the safety and legitimate interests of enterprises and citizens of China and Arab states in each other's countries, and actively make institutional arrangements for bilateral personnel exchanges. We will consolidate the results of bilateral cooperation in mutual legal assistance, extradition and repatriation, fugitive repatriation and asset recovery, and set up cooperation on the signing of treaties on legal assistance, as well as fighting transnational organized crimes and corruption.
5.5 Non-Traditional Security
We will jointly enhance the capability to cope with non-traditional security threats, support the international community's efforts to combat piracy, continue to send warships to the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia to maintain international maritime security, and conduct cyber security cooperation.
Part IV China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and Its Follow-up Actions
The China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was established 11 years ago with dialogue, cooperation, peace and development as its purposes. The mechanism has been gradually improved, and covered an increasingly wide range of areas. It has become an important platform for collective dialogue and pragmatic cooperation between the two sides based on equality and mutual benefit. China and Arab countries have established a strategic cooperative partnership featuring comprehensive cooperation and common development within the framework of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, providing a strong support for long-term sustainable development of China-Arab relations.
China will remain committed to the development of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and together with the Arab countries, further enrich China-Arab cooperation, make innovative efforts on cooperation models and upgrade the level of cooperation, put into play the leading role of the ministerial meeting, and constantly enrich and improvement cooperation mechanisms in trade, culture, media, non-governmental exchanges and other fields, so as to promote China-Arab exchanges and cooperation across the board.
Part V Relations Between China and Arab Regional Organizations
China attaches great importance to its relations with the Arab League, and respects the efforts by the Arab League in maintaining regional peace and stability and promoting regional development. We support a bigger role of the Arab League in other regional and international affairs. China is willing to continue to strengthen consultation and cooperation with the Arab League in various fields.
China appreciates the active role played by Arab sub-regional organizations such as the Gulf Cooperation Council in maintaining regional peace and promoting development, and stands ready to strengthen friendly exchanges and cooperation with these organizations.