Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

New 'Belt and Road' bridge for China-Arab ties

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-04-27 07:57

New 'Belt and Road' bridge for China-Arab ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) in Cairo, Egypt, Jan 20, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Editor's Note: Essam Sharaf, former Egyptian prime minister, participated in a dialogue between Chinese and Arab political parties in Yinchuan, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, which was held from April 21-22. He delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and was interviewed by Chinese reporters during the event. Below is an excerpt from the Chinese translation of his interview and speech.

The internal cause for the current situation in the Middle East is that some regimes are not fully for the people. Externally, some countries have been interfering with the Middle East region and trying to split us. What Arab countries need to do is to stick together and work with China. The problems the region is facing will be solved.

I appreciate the policies China has been carrying out over the past three decades. I think there are three important factors in China's policies: stability, reform and development. Stability is very important. Especially for our region, we should obtain stability, then many problems will be solved neatly.

We believe there is great room to further develop China-Arab cooperation. As a result, Arab countries welcome the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (or the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road), a new bridge for the world. It will be built into a link between the two peoples, and is the best way to enhance cooperation to the expected level.

As a transport engineer, I regard this new bridge for the world as a complex structure, consisting of roads, railways, bridges, tunnels and ports. Yet as an average person, I believe this architecture can be of great significance in helping consolidate China-Arab relations and helping shape a new basis for relations between countries around the world.

Exchanges of civilizations are very important for development. Not only goods, but also thoughts, culture and civilizations are exchanged on the routes of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Egypt and China can conduct good cooperation on resisting the impact of savage globalization. Egyptian people love the Chinese people. Egypt has the important Suez Canal leading to Europe, which can be an important stop on the Maritime Silk Road. In general, Egypt can become an important stop in the Belt and Road Initiative. In this way we can work together and become a new force to resist the impact of globalization.

The article was compiled by China Daily reporter Wang Qingyun.

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