Xi meets Middle East leaders, vowing to enhance cooperation with GCC and accelerate FTA talks
Published: Feb 06, 2022 12:11 AM


Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday met up with leaders from the Gulf countries attending the opening ceremony of Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, underlining strengthening the cooperation with the regional countries in speeding up free trade negotiation and deepening counter-terrorism efforts.

While meeting Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, Xi said that China is willing to enhance development strategy docking with the UAE, support UAE's development strategy, participate in the UAE's major projects and promote a high quality Belt and Road initiative. 

Based on strengthening the cooperation on traditional energy, China will broaden cooperation with the UAE in fields such as new energy, renewable energy and aerospace, Xi said.

He also urged the two to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism to maintain the shared security.



China supports the UAE to successfully hold the Dubai Expo, and will work with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) to speed up the free trade negotiation process in order to insert vitality to the economy of both countries and the world.

Ahead of the Winter Olympics, foreign ministers of the Gulf countries and Secretary-General of the GCC visited China from January 10 to 14. China and the GCC also issued a joint statement on Wednesday, calling for the establishment of a strategic partnership, promotion of the free trade agreement negotiations, and implementation of a free trade area.

On Saturday, Xi also met Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, saying that China has been supporting Qatar to maintain its national sovereign, independence, safety and stability. 

Also, China is willing to build the Belt and Road with Qatar, broaden practical cooperation with Qatar in energy and infrastructure, build up a long-term stable energy cooperation relation with Qatar and encourage more Chinese companies to invest and operate in Qatar, Xi said.

Xi urged the two countries to deepen anti-terrorism cooperation. He also noted that China will support Qatar in hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Doha and 2030 Asian Games. China will also launch the first cooperation case on giant pandas in the Middle East with Qatar.

Xi said that he hoped Qatar will continue to play an active role to promote the realization of the China-GCC free trade.

The Middle Eastern countries all see China as a stabilizing force for international peace and security and have a stronger political will to develop relations with China, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in mid-January. 

In the face of unilateralism and protectionism, they all regard China as a sincere friend to strengthen solidarity and cooperation among developing countries, he said.

Global Times