Experts Online Conference on China-Arab Reform and Development


Experts Online Conference on China-Arab Reform and Development


On November 26, China-Arab Reform and Development Expert Video Conference” was hosted by China-Arab Reform and Development Research Center(CARC), Shanghai International Studies University, commissioned by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The theme of this seminar is Building the Community of Destiny of China and Arab Countries to Build a Multilateral Dialogue Platform in the Gulf Region . Sudanese Ambassador to China Jaafar Karal, Chinese Foreign Ministry Ambassador for Sino-Arab Cooperation Forum Affairs Li Chengwen, Director of Shanghai Institute of International Studies Academic Committee Yang Jiemian, Chairman of Saudi Center for Scientific Research and knowledge Exchange Yahya Ben Juryd, and many experts and scholars from home and abroad attended the meeting. Professor Zhu Weili, director of CARC experts committee, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the conference. Professor Wang Guang, Executive Director of CARC, presided over the opening and closing ceremony.

The meeting focused on two topics. The first one is Building a Community of Destiny between China and Arab Countries and the second is Building a Platform for Multilateral Dialogue in the Gulf Region . Yang Jiemian, Director of the Academic Council of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies; Jaafar Karal, Sudanese Ambassador to China; Yang Guang, President of the Middle East Institute of China; Ye Haiya Ben Jünyder, Chairman of the Saudi Scientific Research and Knowledge Exchange Center; Ding Jun, Director of the Middle East Institute of Shanghai International Studies University; Ibrahim Faisal, Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq; Xue Qingguo, Professor of the Beijing International Studies University; Shisham Gervi, Chief Researcher of the Gulf Future Center; Wang Yiwei, Professor of the School of International Relations of the People's University of China; Sarifa Fadil, Director of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Port University of Cedeh-Egypt; Wang Lincong, Vice-President of the Institute of West Asia Africa, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Bayan Umali, Executive Director of Middle East Research Center-Jordan; Niu Xinchun, Director of Middle East Studies, Institute of Modern International Relations-China; Guo Shuyong, Dean of School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Shanghai International Studies University; Li Chengwen, Ambassador for Chinese Foreign Ministry for Sino-Arab Cooperation Forum Affairs; Said Ernim, Chairman of Institute for Global Security and Defence-UAE; Tang Zhichao, Director of Middle East Development and Governance Research Center, Western Asia and Africa Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Ibtisam Amiri, Director of Center for Strategic Studies, Baghdad University-Iraq; Ding Long, Director of Gulf Research Center, University of Foreign Trade and Economics.  More than 20 Chinese and foreign scholars, such as Ghazi Ben Ahmed, Chairman of the Tunisian Mediterranean Development Initiative Committee; Wang Guangda, Executive Director of the China-Arab Reform and Development Research Center, and Nadia Hermi, Associate Professor of School of Politics and Economics, Benisouf University-Egypt, spoke at the seminar.

In his speech, Professor Zhu Weilie said that since the beginning of this year, General Secretary Xi Jinping has sent many congratulatory letters to the China-Arab conferences to personally promote Sino-Arab unity, friendship and strategic cooperation, highlighting the current situation to build a new era of Sino-Arab destiny community of great significance. During the epidemic, the two sides worked together to fight the epidemic, once again highlighting the value of the Sino-Arab destiny community, and promoting the Sino-Arab strategic partnership to a higher level.

In the first panel, the experts deeply interpreted the connotation and co-construction path of Sino-Arab destiny community.

Professor Yang Jiemian said that we should plan the path of the strategic docking of the Sino-Arab destiny community from three aspects as Foresight Consciousness and Strategic Docking, Making Good Use of the Platform and Seeking Steady Progress, Problem Orientation and Facing Common Challenge.

Ambassador Jaafar Karal said that strengthening the mechanism is the key to push the Sino-Arab destiny community to a deeper level. Since its establishment, the Sino-Arab Cooperation Forum has continuously injected new impetus into China-Arab friendly relations. In the future, the two sides should strengthen the institutional construction in the areas of mutual translation centers, exchange of think tanks, educational cooperation, and the establishment of the Sino-Arab Press Federation.

Professor Yang Guang believes that energy cooperation is the main axis of Sino-Arab cooperation, regional conflicts and low and volatile international oil prices seriously threaten energy security. China and Arab countries should work to promote the rational stability of international oil prices through more inclusive negotiations. In addition, both sides have broad prospects for cooperation in the field of new energy and should carry out forward-looking and strategic planning as soon as possible.

Chairman Yahya Ben Jünyder reviewed the important events in the history of Sino-Arab civilization exchanges and pointed out that it is necessary to further promote more exchanges between the Chinese and Arab nationalities through project cooperation and media publicity.

Professor Ding Jun said that the construction of Sino-Arab humanistic community is the ideological basis of the construction of destiny community, with a profound historical foundation and a strong realistic motive force. The construction of Sino-Arab humanistic community needs to work together in many aspects, such as mutual language teaching, Sino-Arab think tank exchange and humanistic exchange.

Dr.Ibrahim Faisal believes that China is the leader in the field of infrastructure construction, and oil resources are the key. The construction of Iraq's Fao Port is of great significance to ensure energy security and promote the Belt and Road initiative to extend and develop.

Professor Xue Qingguo said that the concept of building a community of destiny between China and Arab countries is in line with the common will of both sides. Both sides should cooperate and help each other in the post-epidemic era, put development in the first place and realize complementary advantages. At the same time, strengthen self-awareness and make independent decisions and judgments when dealing with Sino-Arab relations.

Dr. Shisham Gervi believes that there are both attraction and repulsion factors in the development of Sino-Arab relations. Repulsion factors are mainly terrorism, war and so on.

Professor Wang Yiwei believes that the exchange of Chinese and Arabs in humanities is insufficient, China's foreign propaganda is still not enough, and the governmental and folk diplomacy should cooperate with each other to jointly publicize Xi Jinping's theoretical thinking on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Professor Wang Lincong believes that the Sino-Arab destiny community is not exclusive, the construction stage includes the interest community, the development community and the destiny community. The concrete construction path includes three aspects: strengthening the benefit foundation, perfecting and promoting the mechanism construction and shaping the common value.

Professor Sarifa Fadil pointed out that the construction of the Sino-Arab destiny community is facing many challenges, including hegemonism, political turmoil and so on. China should make more use of the media to refute the malicious smear of the West, strengthen the overseas construction of Confucius Institutes, and promote the mutual understanding of the peoples and civilizations.

Professor Niu Xinchun pointed out that under the background of the great change in this century, the US strategic withdraw trend in the Middle East is obvious, and China and Arab countries are in the period of economic transformation and upgrading, and are also exploring the road suitable for their own governance and development. As relations between China and the United States deteriorate, both China and the Arab countries should resist pressure and strengthen cooperation.

Professor Guo Shuyong believes that the main characteristics of the Sino-Arab destiny community include, first, the cultural community of civilization and mutual learning; second, the identity community of the same fate as the link; third, the Belt and Road interest community as the driving force; and fourth, the responsibility community of security governance as the support.

Director Bayan Umali said that after the establishment of the Sino-Arab Cooperation Forum, the importance of bilateral relations was increasing day by day, and a series of exchanges under the Forum framework made Sino-Arab relations closer. In the post-epidemic era, China and Arab countries should strengthen cooperation, build a Health Silk Road and turn the crisis into an opportunity.

In the second panel, the experts expressed their views on the opportunities and challenges, significance and mechanism of building a multilateral dialogue platform in the Gulf region.

In his statement, Ambassador Li Chengwen said that as a good friend and good partner of the Arab countries in the region, China is committed to deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with the Arab countries in the region and helping the region consolidate the foundation for development and stability. China has always believed that the Gulf region should and could become an oasis of prosperity and happiness.

President Said Ernim said that building a platform for multilateral dialogue in the Gulf region is important for constructing a new Middle East order and resolving regional differences. But it also faces many challenges, and China should establish a multilateral platform for dialogue among Iran, Gulf countries and neighboring countries.

Professor Tang Zhichao believes that Gulf security is facing traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including political, economic and international relations. On the issue of Gulf security, China adheres to the guidance of building a new type of international relations and a new concept of security, adhering to the concepts of promoting security by development and promoting security by cooperation , and playing a role of mediation and coordination.

Professor Ibtisam Amiri believes that China's responsible image of a big country gives China the innate advantage of building an Oasis of Security in the Gulf. In order to promote the Belt and Road initiative and move forward steadily, China needs to formulate a corresponding political and economic geo-strategic policy, both of which are indispensable.

Professor Ding Long said that the implementation of the three principles of the Gulf Security Dialogue should first start from providing a forum for dialogue; secondly, focus on the inclusiveness of the negotiations, and Iran should also be included; thirdly, to maintain regional security mechanisms such as the Iran nuclear agreement as a phased goal; and finally, to establish the Gulf security framework as a long-term goal.

Chairman Ghazi Ben Ahmed pointed out that the Gulf region is the Anchor of Stability in the Middle East, and it is imperative to prevent nuclear proliferation. All parties should seek common ground while reserving differences, overcome institutional differences, put aside sectarian conflicts and work together for equality, dialogue and consultation.

Professor Wang Guangda said the Chinese initiative to build a platform for multilateral dialogue in the Gulf region is a public product with Chinese characteristics provided by China to the international community and regional countries. The purpose is to promote unity and cooperation among the countries of the region, build a safe bay for the people of the region, and promote the construction of a community of human destiny.

Associate professor Nadia Hermi stressed that, the importance of building a platform for multilateral dialogue in the Gulf region is increasingly evident in the context of current tensions between Gulf countries and Iran. Promoting the establishment of the Gulf-Iran dialogue mechanism is the primary task, followed by expanding the scope of security cooperation, ensuring the safety of shipping and combating crime.

At the end of the meeting, chairman of the Saudi Scientific Research and knowledge Exchange Center, Yahya Ben Juryd; the Ambassador of Sudan to China, Jaafar Karal; and the President of the Chinese Middle East Society, Yang Guang, made comments on the guests’ speeches. They said that the building of a platform for multilateral dialogue in the Gulf region proposed by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was the first time that China had put forward a China plan on the security issue in the Gulf, and that if the instability and development problems in the Middle East were not resolved, it would be difficult to promote the construction of a community of destiny between China and Arab countries. The meeting keeps pace with the times and has a huge amount of information. If such think-tank dialogue activities can be carried out on a regular basis, they will certainly provide continuous intellectual support for solving the Middle East problems.

The Sino-Arab Reform and Development Forum, jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and supported by CARC, is one of the high-end think tank forum elite projects. The forum invited political, academic and business representatives from China and Arab countries to jointly exchange and explore the path of Sino-Arab cooperation and reform and development. The first and second forums were held on April 23, 2018 and April 15, 2019 , respectively. It was held on online due to the epidemic this year. The successful holding of the expert video conference further highlights the role of CARC as a platform for the exchange of ideas between China and Arab countries on reform and opening up and country governance, which is helpful to strengthen the deep-level docking of the development strategy between China and Arab countries, and to promote the development of the Sino-Arab strategic partnership in the new era.