23rd September 2023 – (Hangzhou) Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Crown Prince of Kuwait Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Hangzhou, where they discussed the significant progress made in the China-Kuwait relationship. The meeting took place ahead of the opening ceremony of the 19th Asian Games, which the crown prince is set to attend.
Highlighting the historical ties between the two nations, President Xi acknowledged Kuwait as the first Gulf Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with China and the first Middle Eastern country to sign Belt and Road cooperation documents. Diplomatic relations between China and Kuwait were established 52 years ago, and in 2018, the two countries elevated their ties to a strategic partnership.
Wang Guangyuan, an associate professor at Beijing Language and Culture University’s Arab Research Center, emphasized that the crown prince’s visit would not only strengthen the traditional friendship between China and Kuwait but also promote comprehensive development across various fields, particularly in relation to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Kuwait’s Vision 2035.
Wang further noted that the crown prince’s visit, coinciding with the Asian Games, would help increase awareness and understanding of Kuwait among the Chinese people, further fostering people-to-people bonds between the two nations.
In December of the previous year, President Xi attended the first China-Arab States Summit and China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. These summits set the course for future China-GCC and China-Arab ties.
During their meeting, President Xi expressed China’s willingness to work with Kuwait in implementing the outcomes of the summits, enhancing collective cooperation between China and Arab states, and safeguarding the common interests of developing countries through strengthened communication and cooperation at the United Nations and other multilateral platforms.
The crown prince praised China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative, highlighting their significance in promoting peace and progress for humanity. Kuwait expressed its readiness to deepen practical cooperation with China across various fields and to intensify communication and cooperation in the Middle East and Gulf regions.
Ding Long, a professor at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, emphasized the longstanding nature of China-Kuwait relations, stating they have withstood the test of time.
Following their meeting, President Xi and the crown prince witnessed the signing of the Joint Statement on the Five-Year Plan for Bilateral Cooperation between China and Kuwait (2024-2028). Additionally, several bilateral cooperation documents were signed in the areas of renewable energy, infrastructure construction, and environmental governance, demonstrating the commitment to further collaboration between the two nations.