By He Yin
Both China and the Arab states believe that true friendship stands out in times of adversity, which testifies to their shared future in the joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Having gone through this joint fight against the coronavirus, the China-Arab strategic partnership now enjoys an even stronger foundation, closer people-to-people friendship and brighter prospects for cooperation,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said on June 22 in a congratulatory letter to the China-Arab States Political Parties Dialogue Extraordinary Meeting.
The message from Xi, who is also General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, fully demonstrated the firm resolve and sincere wish of China and Arab states to pool their efforts together to fight the pandemic, enhance exchanges and cooperation, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for China and Arab states.
The CPC is committed to enhancing mutual trust, strengthening communication, and working closely with political parties from different countries to forge, on the basis of a new form of international relations, a new type of party-to-party relations featuring seeking common grounds while transcending differences, mutual respect and mutual learning.
The CPC also remains committed to formulating international party-to-party exchanges and cooperation networks in various forms and at multiple levels, so as to create a mighty force that enables the world to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Recently, the extraordinary meeting with the theme of jointly building a community with a shared future for China and Arab states in the new era resonated with myriad countries.
It is of vital importance for Arab states to take joint actions to cope with risks and challenges and prevail over the difficulties, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, also Fatah Chairman, adding that their joint actions will play an important role in enhancing political mutual trust and deepening the Arab states-China strategic partnership.
The extraordinary meeting demonstrated that China and Arab states enjoy a solid foundation for building political consensus, strengthening solidarity and cooperation, and jointly building a community with a shared future.
In the face of the unexpected COVID-19 outbreak, China and Arab states have rendered each other help and fought shoulder to shoulder, opening up a new chapter in building a community with a shared future for China and Arab states.
At the most critical moment in China’s fight against the epidemic, heads of Arab states and leaders of regional organizations such as the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) expressed sympathy and support for China. On its part, China has always cherished the support and assistance offered by Arab states and people as well as their friendship.
Likewise, when Arab states are struck by the virus, the Chinese people feel for their pain. China has provided a large number of medical supplies to Arab states, and held video conferences over COVID-19 control with health experts from 17 Arab states, the LAS and the GCC. China has also sent medical experts to eight Arab states to meet their immediate needs, and shared its proven protocols of diagnosis, treatment and control without any reservation.
The joint efforts of China and Arab states in the fight against the virus have showcased developing countries’ strength of unity and cooperation to the rest of the world. Together, the two sides have made contributions to the global response to COVID-19.
The strong friendship that China and Arab states have forged during their long-term exchanges lays a solid foundation of public opinion for the two sides to fight the pandemic.
For more than 2,000 years, peace, cooperation, openness, inclusiveness, mutual learning, and mutual benefit have always been the main theme of exchanges between China and Arab states. Whatever changes may take place in the world, China and Arab states have always been good partners sharing mutual benefit and good brothers going through thick and thin together.
In 2018, China and Arab states, after friendly consultation, agreed to establish a future-oriented strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development. The anti-pandemic practices of China and Arab states once again proved that the two sides need to work together to tackle challenges more than ever.
Chinese and Arab peoples, erstwhile close companions along the ancient Silk Road, are working together to advance the Belt and Road cooperation to realize their common aspiration of national prosperity and rejuvenation.
Arab states, as important participants and co-creators of the ancient Silk Road civilization located at the juncture of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, are natural partners in Belt and Road cooperation.
At the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in 2018, the two sides agreed that they should uphold the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, expand cooperation areas and serve their common interests under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
More importantly, China and Arab states need to actively explore channels for practical cooperation and alignment of development strategies at present to make the Belt and Road a model of cooperation, health, recovery and growth, and deliver a bright future of development and prosperity.
The Chinese people often say, “The fire burns high when everyone brings wood to it.” There is also an Arab saying that people are capable of doing anything when they act together.
In the course of the fight against the pandemic, China and Arab states have made important contributions to promoting the building of a global community of health for all.
Looking ahead, the two sides will surely create new wonders in fulfilling their dreams of national prosperity and rejuvenation as long as they continue to work together and build up consensus.