Chinese Premier urges upgrading China-Arab cooperation

08:14, May 14, 2010      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday called for deeper cooperation between China and Arab states to create a peaceful international environment for development, fight the financial crisis, safeguard energy security and tackle climate change.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao addresses the opening ceremony of the fourth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum in China's northern port city of Tianjin, on May 13, 2010. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

Wen made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the fourth Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum held in the north Chinese port city of Tianjin.

During the two-day forum, 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.


Wen warned the complication of the global financial crisis with deepening sovereign debt crisis in some nations.

"We should never underestimate the seriousness and complication of the financial crisis and its deep impact on international politics and the economy," Wen said.

The global economy was slowly recovering, but its foundation was not solid, he said.

Wen blamed the fragile recovery on deepening sovereign debt crises in some countries, high unemployment rates in major economies, high commodities prices and rising trade protectionism.

The international governing system faced deep reforms and the global economic structure was undergoing deep transformation, he said.

Wen said reforms of international economic and financial systems should be pushed forward and the establishment of a new just and reasonable international economic and financial order should be accelerated.

"(We) should improve the decision-making processes and mechanisms at international financial institutions and boost cooperation in international financial supervision," he said.

While calling for opposition to all forms of protectionism, support for free trade, Wen said, "It is imperative to advance the Doha Round talks of the World Trade Organization toward achieving reasonable and balanced results as soon as possible."

He urged major economies to transform the economic growth pattern of low savings and high consumption and to strengthen financial supervision to curb excessive speculation.

China would unswervingly carry out its mutually beneficial opening strategy and unveil more measures to facilitate trade and investment, he said.


Wen said energy exporters and importers should step up dialogue and contacts and carry out cooperation in energy development.

Investment in the energy sector should be encouraged to maintain a basic balance in energy supply and demand and reasonable global energy prices, he said.

The international community should work to maintain stability in energy producing countries and curb excessive speculation to maintain order in the international energy markets, he said.

Talking about economic and trade with the Arab states, Wen said China was ready to stabilize trade in oil and natural gas with the 22 Arab League nations, while expanding imports of non-oil products.

He said, "China at the same time will increase exports of high value-added machinery and electronic products and high-tech products to the Arab countries."

Trade between China and Arab states surged to 107.4 billion U.S. dollars last year from 36.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2004.

China would continue to encourage businesses to invest in Arab states and welcome investment from Arab states, he said.

China was ready to promote cooperation in infrastructure, including power, railways and roads, and to deepen cooperation in oil and gas projects, he said.

Efforts should be made to vigorously develop energy-saving technologies and clean and renewable energies to help tackle global climate change.

China would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

Wen said China and Arab states should increase exchanges by senior officials and consultations on strategic issues, and boost coordination in major international and regional affairs.

Wen urged developed countries to shoulder the main responsibility in helping developing nations to maintain financial stability and economic growth to reduce the imbalance of development, the fundamental imbalance of the world economy.

China would as always provide aid without conditions to developing countries, he said.

China and Arab countries have relations dating back to the Silk Road about 2,000 years ago. China has diplomatic ties with all 22 members of the Arab League.

The forum was initiated in January 2004, when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the Arab League headquarters in Cairo. It has since served as a platform for exchanging views between China and Arab nations and for enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation.
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