|Wang Yi Attends a Video Conference of China-GCC Foreign Ministers|
On November 9, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended a video conference of the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers in Beijing. Foreign Minister of UAE (the rotating presidency of the GCC) Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of Bahrain (the incoming rotating presidency of the GCC) Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Foreign Minister of Kuwait Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Faisal bin Farhan, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi, Under-secretary for Diplomatic Affairs of Oman Shaikh Khalifa bin Ali al Harthy, and Secretary General of the GCC Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf attended the conference.
Wang Yi said that the China-GCC relations maintain a sound momentum of growth, with close high-level exchanges, deepening political trust, fruitful practical cooperation and orderly people-to-people exchanges between the two sides. In particular, at the critical juncture of the global fight against COVID-19, the convening of this meeting between China and the GCC will send a clear message that both sides are joining hands to overcome the pandemic and bring the China-GCC relations to a new stage.
Wang Yi said the worsening unilateral acts of bullying have posed severe challenges to the international order, and the growing protectionism has dealt a blow to the world economy. Against this backdrop, what the international community needs the most is to carry forward the spirit of unity and coordination for a shared destiny. Facing the international circumstances filled with uncertainty, the China-GCC relations have been highly stable. The cooperation between China and the GCC has become an important stabilizing force in the Gulf region and the world at large. China greatly values this stability which is the result of years of mutual understanding, trust and support between the two sides. We believe the China-GCC relations that stood the tests are becoming more mature and resilient. We need to confront the volatile international environment with stable China-GCC relations, and promote regional prosperity and development via mutual beneficial cooperation.
Wang Yi said China and the GCC should firmly support each other. China will continue to support the GCC states to safeguard their political security and social stability along the development paths of their own choices, oppose the interference in internal affairs of the GCC states under the pretext of religion, human rights and counter terrorism by any other country, and respect the measures taken by these states to alleviate the tension among them in the region and to enhance regional peace and stability. Both sides should also adhere to multilateralism and defend international fairness and justice. China supports the GCC states to play a greater role in international and regional affairs.
Wang Yi said China and the GCC need to join hands in the battle against COVID-19. The cooperation on vaccine development has become the highlight of anti-pandemic cooperation between the two sides. China stands ready to make concrete efforts and build a community of common health for humankind with the GCC. Both sides need to, on the premise of effective prevention and control of the pandemic, rebuild the economy, restart the China-GCC FTA negotiations, enhance data security cooperation and facilitate major projects of the Belt and Road cooperation. Both sides also need to increase people-to-people exchanges to consolidate the basis of friendship.
The GCC said China and the GCC states are very important strategic partners to each other. China has become the largest exporter and importer of the GCC states, which fully represents a broad space for further cooperation. The GCC attaches great importance to the relationship with China, and extends its sincere gratitude for China's anti-pandemic assistance and cooperation. The GCC firmly adheres to the one-China policy, resolutely opposes the interference in China's internal affairs by any external forces, and continues to support China on the issues involving China's core interests and major concerns. The GCC is willing to meet China halfway, pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, start the FTA negotiations as soon as possible, and bring the China-GCC relations to a new level.
Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concerns. Wang Yi said China supports Arab states in the Gulf region to safeguard their national sovereignty and security, and opposes the interference in their internal affairs by any external forces. China is committed to facilitating the relaxation of regional tension, and hopes all parties could find political settlement to regional hot issues through dialogue and negotiation and commonly safeguard peace and stability in the Gulf region. The GCC appreciates China's active and constructive role in regional hot issues, and said the GCC is willing to pursue peace in the region and promote the settlement of disputes through dialogue by all parties.