by Xinhua writer Luo Jun
BEIJING, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The choice of the Middle East as the destination for Chinese President Xi Jinping's first overseas visit in 2016 bears great significance, as China seeks to boost constructive engagement with the region to help it reestablish stability.
President Xi is set to put forward China's views on and proposals for the Middle East issue during his visit to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran starting on Tuesday, all of which are representative and influential countries in the region and long-time good friends of China.
Having achieved rapid economic and social development on an independent path with Chinese characteristics and the reform and opening up policy, China has success experiences in peaceful development to share with its Middle East friends.
To China, much is at stake on this historic visit, as more and more regional and global issues, especially terrorism and extremism, have an increasing impact on China. Meanwhile, a Middle East slipping into conflicts, turmoil and instability brings high risk and threat to China's national interests and security.
Beijing is expecting to cooperate with these influential countries to help restore peace and stability in the Middle East, and to elevate regional development through joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as well as through mechanisms such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Some Western political figures and media reports have misread China's role in the region as a "free rider" or exploiter of oil resources. Such remarks are shallow and short-sighted, missing the big picture of China's long-term presence in the region.
Prophet Mohammed once said, "Seek knowledge, even it's as far away as in China."
In deed, China's shared destiny with the Middle East goes far back beyond the thriving oil business in the 20th century to more than 1,000 years before the birth of the United States.
Over 1,400 years ago, during China's prosperous Tang Dynasty, the ancient Silk Road, filled with merchants and goods, greatly facilitated exchanges among different civilizations and benefited peoples along the routes linking China and the Middle East.
To honor history and to innovate for common prosperity, China has brought up the Belt and Road initiative to revive the mutually beneficial trade corridors.
China's Middle East policy is deeply rooted in its historical interaction and relationship with the region. Whoever compares it with the mindset of Western colonialism is absurd and needs a history lesson.
Peace and stability, key to China's fast growth, is also critical to the healthy development of Middle East countries. President Xi's visit will surely demonstrate China's firm support for its old friends.
TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Ancient Silk Road used to be a key East-West trade route, and a bridge linking Chinese and Persian civilizations.
Now, China's "Belt and Road" initiative has offered a whole new opportunity for China and Iran to renew their millenniums-old interactions. Full story
TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping is about to visit Iran later this week, and that will be an extraordinary event for the relationship of the two nations, said Pang Seng, Chinese ambassador to Iran.
Days before Xi's visit, Pang told Xinhua in an interview that the trip will, in his words, leave "an indelible mark" in the history of bilateral high-level exchanges between Beijing and Tehran. Full story
KHARTOUM, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's first Arab Policy Paper, in the form of an official commitment, will open up new cooperation horizons between China and Arab countries, Sudanese analysts said.
Adil Merghani, an official in charge of Sudan's industrial and trade chambers, told Xinhua that the policy paper, issued some six decades after the establishment of relations between China and the Arab world, marks a new chapter and will provide new opportunities for both sides to further deepen the standing ties. Full story
BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- China is ready to strengthen anti-terrorism exchanges and cooperation with Arab countries to establish a long-term security cooperation mechanism, according to the China's Arab Policy Paper issued on Wednesday.
"We support the efforts of Arab States in countering terrorism and support their counter-terrorism capacity building," the paper said. Full story
CAIRO, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- "The Arab-Chinese relations are strong and deep-rooted as they are based on a solid ground of mutual interests as well as friendship between the Arab and the Chinese peoples," Ambassador Khaled al-Habbash, Arab League Secretary-General's adviser and head of Asia and Australia Department at the pan-Arab panel, told Xinhua.
It is obvious that the Chinese-Arab ties are not only stable but are on the rise politically and economically as both sides are keen on enhancing their mutual cooperation in various fields based on mutual respect and common interests. Full Story
BEIJING, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Wednesday issued its first Arab policy paper. Following is an English version of the paper. Full Story