Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech on the relations and cooperation between China and Arab states at the opening ceremony of the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in Beijing, capital of China, June 5, 2014. [Photo by Ju Peng/Xinhua]
On June 5, 2014, the sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum opened at the Great Hall of the People. President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered an important speech entitled "Promoting Silk Road Spirit and Deepening China-Arab Cooperation". Xi Jinping said that through the ancient Silk Road, the ancestors of the Chinese and Arab peoples took the lead in the friendly exchanges among nations in the ancient world. Currently, both China and the Arab states face the common mission and challenge of achieving national rejuvenation. He hoped that the two sides will promote the Silk Road spirit and take the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century as a new opportunity and new starting point to constantly deepen China-Arab strategic cooperative relations of comprehensive cooperation and common development.
Xi Jinping congratulated the convening of the conference on behalf of the Chinese government and people.
Xi Jinping said that looking back at the history of exchanges between the Chinese and Arab peoples, we will think of the overland Silk Road and the maritime spice route. For hundreds of years, the spirit that the Silk Road bears, namely, peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning, mutual benefits and win-win results, has lived on through generations and written an important chapter in the history of exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations. The Chinese and Arab peoples have supported each other in maintaining national dignity and safeguarding state sovereignty, helped each other in exploring development path and achieving national rejuvenation, and learned from each other in deepening people-to-people and cultural exchanges and revitalizing national culture.
Xi Jinping pointed out that the next 10 years are a critical period for the development of both China and the Arab states. To fulfill the common mission and deal with challenge of national rejuvenation, we should promote the Silk Road spirit, boost the mutual learning between civilizations, respect each other's development path, stick to win-win cooperation and advocate dialogue and peace.
Xi Jinping stressed that the "One Belt One Road" (the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and the "Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century") is the path to mutual benefits and win-win results. China and the Arab states enjoy mutual understanding and friendship because of the Silk Road, and are natural cooperative partners in jointly building the "One Belt One Road". The two sides should adhere to the principle of discussion, co-construction and sharing, and build a community of common interests and a community of common destiny. The two sides should hold a broader vision and down-to-earth attitude to establish a "1+2+3" cooperation pattern, namely, to take energy cooperation as the core, infrastructure construction and trade and investment facilitation as two wings, and three high and new tech fields of nuclear energy, space satellite and new energy as new breakthroughs. In the next 10 years, we will strive to increase the bilateral trade volume from last year's 240 billion USD to 600 billion USD, increase China's non-financial investment stock to the Arab states from last year's 10 billion USD to over 60 billion USD, accelerate negotiations on and promote the establishment of the free trade area between China and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and push forward the Arab states' participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to get an early harvest. The two sides should rely on and promote China-Arab traditional friendship. China and the Arab states have decided to designate 2014 and 2015 the Years of China-Arab Friendship and to hold a series of friendly exchange events. In the next three years, China will train another 6,000 talents of various types for the Arab states. In the coming 10 years, China will organize mutual visits and exchanges by 10,000 Chinese and Arab artists, and promote and support cooperation between 200 Chinese and Arab cultural institutions.
Xi Jinping pointed out that the establishment of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was a strategic step the two sides took for the long-term development of the China-Arab relations. He hoped that both sides seize the new opportunity of the joint construction of the "One Belt One Road", strengthen communication on policy, deepen practical cooperation, and constantly pioneer and innovate to build a successful Forum.
In the end, Xi Jinping emphasized that both the Chinese and Arab nations have created splendid civilizations, and have experienced twists and turns amidst the changes of the times in the modern history, thus national rejuvenation has always been the pursuit of both sides. Let us work shoulder to shoulder to promote the Silk Road spirit, deepen China-Arab cooperation, realize the Chinese dream and revitalize the Arab States! Let us strive for the lofty cause of peace and development for mankind!
Prime Minister Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah of Kuwait, Chairman of the Arab side of the conference and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Salaheddine Mezouar of Morocco, and Secretary General Nabil El Araby of the League of Arab States (LAS) delivered a speech respectively. They highly praised Arab-China traditional friendship, spoke highly of the achievements made by the Forum over the ten years, and said that the Arab states applaud President Xi's proposal to strengthen the forum and develop Arab-China strategic cooperative relations, support China's initiative of jointly building the "One Belt One Road" and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with China, promote the political settlement of the relevant issues of the Arab states and be jointly committed to regional peace, stability and development.
State Councilor Yang Jiechi and others were present. Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the opening ceremony.
The sixth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was held on June 5 in Beijing with the theme of "building modern Silk Road and promoting China-Arab common development". More than 200 people were present, including foreign ministers or representatives of China and the LAS member states, Secretary General of the LAS and leaders of China's relevant departments.