Xi Jinping Offers Win-Win Collaboration to Arab League through the One Belt-One Road
Speaking to the Arab League Thursday in Cairo following his historic visits to Tehran, Riyadh, and Cairo, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented an offer of peace and development, accompanied with specific aid, investments, loans, and joint projects that total more than $55 billion to the region, including the Palestinians. CCTV broadcast the speech live with simultaneous English translation, and other Chinese TV stations broadcast in Arabic.
Xi opened by saying that the Chinese "believe in hope and encourage it by peace," and framed the speech entirely in the "One Belt-One Road" policy.
“The key to overcoming difficulties is to accelerate development. Turmoil in the Middle East stems from the lack of development, and the ultimate solution will depend on development, which bears on everyone's well-being and dignity. It is a race against time and a struggle between hope and disillusion. Only when young people are able to live a fulfilled life with dignity through development can hope prevail in their heart. Only then will they voluntarily reject violence, extremist ideologies and terrorism.” “Outside nations cannot impose solutions, and China will not look for a "proxy," he said. Instead, China is offering a "win-win" strategy for all the countries of the region based on mutual interests, Xi said. He also referred to the injustice toward the Palestinian people, reiterating China's support for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, and announced 50 million yuan ($7.6 million) for the Palestinians.
He described four areas of closer Chinese-Arab relations:
First, on terrorism and extremism, he said the cause can't be linked to a single country or a single religion. "We should treat the symptom, but also the cause." Therefore, China created a research institute on Chinese-Arab reform in China, to which 100 "famous people" from Middle East religious institutions will be invited. China will also provide US$300 million in law enforcement to help the Arab countries fight terrorism.
Second, work on structural reform, innovation, and a push for "oil-plus" trade relations. China would like to see agreements for the long-term purchase of oil and a long-term energy strategy cooperation that involves innovation. He told them, "China's investment is entering the fast lane," and the emphasis will be on manufacturing exports and transportation.
Third was "energy capacity cooperation," and using Chinese progress in developing efficient industries such as auto production, that can create jobs in the Arab world. He referenced the $15 billion in investments just signed in Egypt, along with: US$10 billion in loans to Arab countries for manufacturing capacity, and US$20 billion for UAE and Qatar for high-end industries. Another US$10 billion is going for other projects. China and the Arab States have also set up a training center for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and clean energy.
The fourth area is "civilizational exchanges" based on joint respect for cultures. Cooperation in this area will result in discovering "more areas for win-win cooperation through the One Belt-One Road." China is inviting 100 scholars and experts and will provide 1,000 positions for Arab youth leaders to visit China. They will also invite parties to decide on 10,000 scholarships and 10,000 positions for trainees in China.Under another project, China and the Arab States will launch a "Silk Road Book Translation" program for the translation of 100 Chinese and Arab classics into each other's language. “The Chinese and Arab civilizations each have their own systems and distinctive features,” Xi said, “yet they both embody the common ideals and aspirations of mankind for development and progress, and they both champion such values as moderation, peace, forgiveness, tolerance and self-restraint."