China, Arab states eye new "Silk Road," seek elevated ties

20:55, May 12, 2010      

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Silk Road traders of ancient times would most likely respect the latest developments between China and the Arab states. No doubt they would be confused by all the types of goods traded these days, compared to mainly porcelain, silk and spices carted across Eurasia in their day -- around 2,000 years ago.

But like people today, they would realize that good trade is built on trust. And so it would not be difficult for them to appreciate the value of a modern Silk Road being built between China and the Arab states, as the countries turn their attention to a wide-range of trade deals and other moves to bring about closer ties.

At the fourth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum scheduled to open Thursday in north China's Tianjin, the two sides will discuss upgrading their relationship to a strategic level and release an action plan for a cooperation blueprint in the next two years.

Foreign ministers and officials from China and 22 states of the Arab League will attend the two-day meeting in Tianjin.

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