Chinese, Saudi FMs discuss boosting bilateral ties, regional cooperation

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 25, 2021
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Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) meets with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on March 24, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks on Wednesday with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on boosting bilateral ties and regional cooperation.

Noting that China and Saudi Arabia share a comprehensive strategic partnership, Wang said the development of the bilateral relations has maintained a sound momentum under the guidance of their heads of state.

As major changes are unfolding in the world and in the Middle East, the strategic importance of the China-Saudi Arabia relations has become more prominent, and the two sides need to conduct timely strategic communication, protect the common interests, and contribute to global peace, stability and development, Wang said.

He said China supports Saudi Arabia in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and stability, choosing a development path that fits its national situation, and playing a bigger role in regional and global affairs, while opposing interference in Saudi Arabia's internal affairs under the pretext of ideology and values.

Wang said that China appreciates Saudi Arabia's understanding and consistent support for China on the issues related to China's core interests, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and other issues of China's major concerns.

The sanctions imposed by a few Western countries on China over the Xinjiang-related issues based on elaborately fabricated lies are a blatant interference in China's internal affairs which aims to suppress and contain China. Such acts should be jointly rejected by all other countries, the Chinese diplomat noted.

Through safeguarding own sovereignty, national dignity and development rights, China and Saudi Arabia will further boost their strategic trust and pave the way for broader cooperation in all fields, he added.

Wang said China stands ready to deepen the synergy between China's Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, and make good use of the mechanism of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee to promote cooperation in traditional areas such as trade, investment, and infrastructure, as well as in the emerging fields including artificial intelligence, 5G and big data.

China is willing to help Saudi Arabia in its efforts to diversify its economy and achieve sustainable development, Wang said.

The Chinese foreign minister also urged the two countries to work together to make good preparations for the upcoming China-Arab Summit and formulate a roadmap and specific plans for building a China-Arab community with a shared future.

Wang stressed that China is happy to see Saudi Arabia, as a major regional power, playing an important role in promoting regional peace and stability, and supports Saudi Arabia's initiative on resolving the Yemen crisis.

In light of the new changes in the Middle East, China has proposed a five-point initiative for achieving peace and stability in the region, which is an active response to the requests of the countries in the region and based on the respect for their wills, Wang said.

China is ready to work with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to carry forward a data security initiative to make the digital economy more secure, standardized, open, and mutually beneficial, said Wang.

Noting that China and the Gulf Cooperation Council have been negotiating on a free trade deal for years, Wang said he hopes that the two sides can reach an agreement at an early date.

For his part, Faisal said that the Saudi Arabia-China relations have a long history and grown stronger as time goes by.

Saudi Arabia is proud of its friendly relations with China and will make every effort to push forward the relationship for the benefit of the two peoples, he said.

The Saudi side believes that all countries have the right to choose their own development path and should devote themselves to serving their own people instead of following the instructions of others, Faisal said, stressing that the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs is a clear principle in international law.

Saudi Arabia opposes any form of interference in China's internal affairs and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China to jointly safeguard international order and stability, said the Saudi diplomat.

He also expressed the willingness to increase high-level exchanges, enhance strategic communication, and convene the meeting of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee sooner to expand bilateral cooperation in all fields.

He agreed that the two countries will work together to make good preparations for the China-Arab Summit to ensure it will achieve important results.

Saudi Arabia welcomes China to play an active role in safeguarding the security in the Middle East, while appreciating China's five-point peace initiative, Faisal said.

Saudi Arabia is willing to make joint efforts with China to push forward negotiations on a free trade deal between China and Gulf countries, he added.

The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on the Iranian nuclear issue, Yemen, and other international and regional issues of common concern.

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