Roundup: Scholars laud Xi's determination to build stronger China-Arab partnership

2023-05-22 09:50:31 | Source:Xinhua 2023-05-21

Leaders attending the 32nd Arab League Summit pose for a group photo in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 19, 2023. (Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Xinhua)

Scholars laud Chinese President Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter to the 32nd Arab League Summit, saying it is an epitome of his resolve to bring the China-Arab strategic partnership to a higher level.

CAIRO, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's congratulatory letter to the 32nd Arab League (AL) Summit is an epitome of his resolve to bring the China-Arab strategic partnership to a higher level, scholars have said.

The Chinese president emphasized the long and deep friendship between China and Arab countries in his letter to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the rotating president of the Council of the AL, on the summit which kicked off Friday in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

Noting that he is glad to see that Arab countries have continuously taken new steps and made new achievements on the path of unity and self-improvement, Xi stressed that China is ready to work with Arab countries to carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, implement the outcomes of the first China-Arab States Summit, bring the China-Arab strategic partnership to a higher level, and continue to write new chapters in China-Arab friendship.

Ibrahim Alluhayb, a professor at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, said that Xi's congratulations highlight the positive trend of reconciliation within the Arab world.

"China has made significant contributions to this endeavor," said Alluhayb, noting that the Chinese leader's letter specifically mentioned the China-Arab States Summit held in 2022, which has injected fresh momentum into the development of China-Arab relations.

Syrian political analyst Osama Danura said that China has helped to ease tensions in the region, adding that China's recent efforts to broker a peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran have catalyzed the wave of detente and reconciliation across the Middle East.

Referring to the return of Syria to the AL Summit, Steven Wright, an associate professor of international relations at Qatar's Hamad Bin Khalifa University, said China's diplomatic efforts to promote peace have positively influenced the region.

The readmission of Syria into the AL indicates the Arab world's desire to gain independence and adopt a more pragmatic approach to regional conflicts, which resonates strongly with China's diplomatic doctrines, he said.

This photo taken on May 7, 2023 shows a scene of an Arab League (AL) extraordinary meeting in Cairo, Egypt. Arab foreign ministers decided in the meeting to restore Syria's AL membership after 12 years of suspension. (Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

On China's efforts to foster cooperation with the Arab states, Wright hailed the rapid progress in practical cooperation between the two sides since the first China-Arab States Summit last year.

"Significant progress has been made in areas like development support, food security, public health, green innovation, energy security, inter-civilizational dialogue, and security and stability," said the Qatar-based scholar.

"President Xi's congratulatory letter to the AL Summit proved China's determination to move forward hand in hand with the Arab countries," said Palestinian political analyst Haitham Daraghmeh, adding that cooperation between the two sides has always been based on equality, mutual benefit, and win-win cooperation.

Samer Khair Ahmed, a Jordanian expert on Arab-China relations, said Xi's congratulatory letter showcases that China highly regards China-Arab relations, highlighting China's conducive role in addressing global challenges, especially those in the Middle East.

"Currently, China represents an important international voice to address world problems and complicated issues," said Ahmed, adding that China's diplomatic approach exemplifies its status as a major country with a sense of responsibility.

According to Mohsen al-Nabati, spokesman for the Tunisian Popular Current Party, China's presence in the region is widely embraced due to its dedication to peace, stability, and cooperation instead of confrontation.

Nabati referred to the Belt and Road Initiative and the ancient Silk Road in explaining China's popularity in the region.

"Any rational person would choose 'silk' over chaos," said the spokesperson.