31st May 2024 – (Beijing) The cooperation between China and Arab countries has always been a shining example in China’s foreign relations, and this exemplary partnership is now entering a new era of unprecedented growth and potential. As the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum convenes on 30th May, 2024, the world’s attention is firmly fixed on this dynamic relationship and the visionary leaders who are shaping its future.

The presence of five Arab heads of state – the leaders of Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates – at the opening ceremony is a testament to the unparalleled importance both sides place on strengthening their ties. As Vice Foreign Minister Deng Li aptly states, this gathering reflects the shared aspiration of China and the Arab world to unite, cooperate, and continuously elevate their relationship to new heights.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, a testament to the enduring and fruitful nature of this partnership. Over the past two decades, the forum has facilitated the implementation of over 200 cooperative projects, benefiting nearly 2 billion people from both sides. The depth and breadth of this collaboration are truly remarkable, encompassing not only economic and trade ties, but also deepening security and cultural exchanges.

Notably, the China-Arab relationship has evolved from a focus on economic and trade cooperation to a “troika” of economy, security, and culture. As old friends along the ancient Silk Road, China and the Arab states have now become staunch partners, championing the principles of mutual assistance, equality, mutual benefit, and inclusive mutual learning.

This 10th Ministerial Conference serves as a pivotal moment to review the achievements of the past two decades and chart the course for the future. The meeting is expected to consolidate the consensus between China and Arab states through a series of outcome documents, including a joint statement on the Palestine issue.

Addressing the pressing questions posed by an Arab media journalist, Chinese officials have articulated the unique nature of China’s approach to international relations. Unlike the West’s penchant for “group politics” and “diplomatic battles,” China’s engagement with the Arab world is driven by the inherent logic of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit. China does not seek to fill any “vacuum,” but rather to forge a partnership based on the common aspirations of both sides.

The significance of China’s voice in the region, as observed by some foreign media outlets, lies not in its volume, but in its unwavering commitment to a just position, support for the legitimate concerns of Arab countries, and its constructive role in regional affairs. This has earned China the trust and acceptance of its Arab partners, who are increasingly asserting their independence and autonomy.