by Xinhua writer Tu Yifan
RIYADH, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The China-Saudi Arabia friendship is deep-rooted in the hearts of the two peoples and the two countries share broad consensus on the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chen Weiqing has said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua prior to the 30th anniversary of China-Saudi Arabia diplomatic ties, Chen commended the sustained and healthy development of bilateral ties, saying that the pursuit of a better and happy life are the common aspiration of the two peoples.
On July 21, 1990, the two countries established diplomatic relations, and continuous progress has been made in the development of bilateral ties ever since, Chen said, adding that with frequent exchanges of high-level visits, the two sides have been enhancing their mutual understanding, cooperation and friendship.
The establishment of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership and the founding of the China-Saudi Arabia High-level Joint Committee in 2016 during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the kingdom marked a milestone for the development of bilateral relations, Chen said.
China is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner and Saudi Arabia is China's largest trading partner in West Asia. The two countries are close partners in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Chen said the two countries are highly complementary in economy and industry.
"The Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Vision 2030 are highly compatible and enjoy huge potential for cooperation in the fields such as artificial intelligence, digital economy and high technology," Chen added.
With continuous and rapid development of bilateral relations in recent years, more and more Chinese companies started doing business in Saudi Arabia, making positive contributions to localizing Saudi Arabia's industrial sector, promoting employment and facilitating development in various fields, the ambassador said.
In recent years, China and Saudi Arabia have also carried out fruitful cooperation in cultural and people-to-people exchanges such as language and culture, art and civilizations and heritage protection, Chen said.
Since the introduction of the Chinese language to the Saudi curriculum in 2019 when Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud visited China, educational authorities of the two countries have kept close communication, Chen said.
"With the gradual popularization of the Chinese language in the Saudi education, it will further promote mutual understanding and deepen the friendship between the two peoples," Chen added.
Noting that Saudi Arabia opened its door to international tourists for the first time in 2019, Chen said China has become an important source of tourists to the kingdom and bilateral cooperation in tourism enjoys a promising prospect.
On the COVID-19 pandemic, Chen said that China and Saudi Arabia, which share common interests and responsibilities, have shown with actions that joint efforts to fight the epidemic are the only right choice, and solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon.
"Since the outbreak of the epidemic, President Xi has held two phone calls with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, charting the course for the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership and demonstrating our determination to fight the epidemic together," Chen added.
At the critical moment when China was fighting COVID-19, the Saudi government and companies provided emergency supplies to China, said Chen, adding that when Saudi Arabia was hit by the epidemic, the Chinese government sent medical experts to the kingdom and Chinese companies helped boost the country's COVID-19 detection capacity.
At the 9th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum held via video link on July 6, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud expressed the kingdom's willingness to join other Arab nations to work with China towards the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
The Chinese ambassador highly appreciated this stance, saying that China is willing to work with Arab and Islamic countries to promote dialogue, synergize development strategies, conduct tripartite and multilateral cooperation, build a community with a shared future for mankind and realize common development.
Chen expressed appreciation for Saudi Arabia's active role in international affairs as the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 (G20) and for hosting the Extraordinary G20 Leaders' Summit to coordinate international anti-epidemic cooperation and stabilize the global economy.
"In the face of profound changes in the world's political and economic landscape, China is ready to work with Saudi Arabia to make greater contributions to regional and world peace, stability, development and prosperity so as to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind," Chen said. Enditem