Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, the Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, on Tuesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The two sides agreed to boost trade and energy cooperation.
Xi Jinping said that China is willing to carry out comprehensive energy cooperation with GCC countries on a long-term basis to create a stable and reliable energy market for the six-member bloc.
Xi suggested the two sides also deepen cooperation in infrastructure, telecommunications, power generation, investment, aerospace and nuclear and renewable energy.
Chinese president Xi visits Egypt for a first state visit
CCTV America’s Nathan King reports
Chinese president Xi visits Egypt for a first state visitFor the first time in 12 years a Chinese president is visiting Egypt. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Egypt, during the second leg of his three nation tour of the Middle East.
For the first time in 12 years a Chinese president is visiting Egypt. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Egypt, during the second leg of his three nation tour of the Middle East.
China welcomes the resumption of and substantial progress in the China-GCC free trade talks and hopes that the free trade area will be up and running as early as possible, Xi said.
Zayani responded that all GCC members, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, support forging closer ties with China. They all agree that the free trade talks should be advanced, the secretary general said, adding that they are happy to see the virtual conclusion of the negotiations on trade in goods.
Research fellow He Wenping on China-Egypt relations
CCTV America’s Elaine Reyes spoke to He Wenping, a research fellow at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies.
Research fellow He Wenping on Chinese-Egyptian relationsCCTV America's Elaine Reyes spoke to He Wenping, a research fellow at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies.
The GCC also expects more cooperation with China under the Belt and Road initiative, which was put forward by President Xi in 2013, to boost connectivity and common development for the countries along the both inland and maritime roads, according to Zayani.
On the same day, Gao Hucheng, China’s Commerce Minister, told reporters in Riyadh that China and the GCC had announced to work together to conclude a comprehensive free trade agreement within 2016.
According to the minister, China and the GCC resumed their FTA talks on Sunday and “substantively concluded in principle the negotiations on trade in goods” on Tuesday. Gao added that the two sides have decided to accelerate the negotiation process and will hold the next round of talks in the second half of February.
President Xi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday for the first leg of his three-nation tour of the region, which will also take him to Egypt and Iran. During Xi’s talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Tuesday, the two leaders welcomed the restarting of the China-GCC FTA talks, saying that they were “delighted” to see the substantive progress that has been made. They also agreed to establish the FTA as soon as possible.
China and the GCC began their FTA talks in July 2004, but the process was suspended in 2009. Thereafter, in 2014, both sides reiterated that restarting talks was important and would benefit their mutual interests.
CCTV NEWS and CCTV America