Chinese President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory message to the 30th Arab League (AL) Summit indicates the longstanding friendly ties between China and the Arab countries and the rapid progress of Sino-Arab cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said Arab officials and experts.
The message well reflects China’s political will to deepen Sino-Arab cooperation, Kamal Hassen Ali, Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League(AL), said in an Interview.
President Xi’s message was sent on Sunday to Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, the rotating AL President who presided over the 30th AL Summit held in the Tunisian capital of Tunis.
In his message, President Xi praised the AL’s efforts to promote peace, stability and development in the Middle East, and recalled the agreement between the two sides in last July to establish a future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development, which was a new starting point for Sino-Arab cooperation.
Sino-Arab cooperation is achieving positive results as many mechanisms have been built to add momentum to the development of the bilateral ties, said Ali Yousif, executive director of the Arab-Chinese Friendship Societies’ League, an AL affiliate based in Sudan.
President Xi’s message reaffirmed that China stands side by side with its Arab friends when confronting all challenges, and showed that China “is Arab nations’ true old friend,” he said.
Abdulaziz Alshaabani, a Saudi journalist and researcher in Chinese affairs, said that the Chinese president voiced great concern over the stability of the Arab world as well as China’s aspiration to help restore development and stability in the region.
Alshaabani’s remarks were echoed by Tariq Fahmy, professor of political science at the American University in Cairo, who said that President Xi’s message indicated China’s support for the Arab countries.
The cooperation projects between China and the Arab countries under the BRI will bring benefits to both sides, Fahmy said, adding that he believes Sino-Arab relations will develop and prosper under the initiative.
Mahmoud Fataftah, a Palestinian expert in international relations, said that there were already many success stories of cooperation projects within the framework of the BRI, and he believed that the Palestinians can benefit from the initiative.
“The message shows the depth of the China-Arab relations,” said Mahmoud Raya, Director of the Lebanese “China in Arab Eyes” news website.
“The tone of the letter was warm and friendly, demonstrating the great importance that China attaches to boosting ties and authentic cooperation with Arab countries,” Raya said.
Currently, Sino-Arab relations are very positive and they are continuously growing on various levels, Raya added.