Xi calls for enhanced BRI cooperation

  Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday China is ready to work with Arab states to jointly build the Belt and Road with high quality and advance China-Arab strategic partnership to a higher level.

Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory letter to the fifth China-Arab States Expo, which opened Thursday in Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China.
More than 1,000 domestic and overseas enterprises have registered as exhibitors in offline and virtual events.
As one of the expo’s major events, the Belt and Road Investment Promotion Conference held on Thursday afternoon witnessed the signing of 13 cooperation projects under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), involving a total of 4 billion yuan, or about 617 million U.S. dollars.
China and Arab states have in recent years continued to strengthen strategic coordination and synergy of actions, and the joint construction of the Belt and Road has achieved fruitful results, Xi said in the letter.
Bound by the history of the ancient Silk Road, China and Arab states are natural partners for BRI cooperation and have notable complementarity. So far, China has signed BRI cooperation documents with 19 Arab countries and the Arab League.
The initiative serves as an opportunity to achieve the common development of participating countries and advance China-Arab strategic partnership, as noted in a declaration of actions on China-Arab BRI cooperation inked in 2018.
Xi said that China remains the largest trading partner of Arab countries.
In 2020, the total trade volume between China and Arab states was 239.8 billion U.S. dollars. Arab states’ imports from China reached 122.9 billion U.S. dollars, up 2.1 percent year on year despite the impact of the pandemic. That is proof of the great resilience, potential and concrete achievements of China-Arab cooperation.
Xi also said that in the face of COVID-19, China and Arab countries have joined hands to fight the pandemic, setting an example of helping each other and overcoming difficulties together.