|Chinese President Xi Jinping (4th R) meets with a delegation from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the sidelines of the third round of China-GCC strategic dialogue in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 17, 2014.(Xinhua/Liu Jiansheng)|
BEIJING, Jan. 17 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met with a delegation from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the sidelines of the third round of China-GCC strategic dialogue.
China will continue to develop long-term friendship with the GCC. The two sides should strengthen planning and expand their cooperation, Xi told the delegation, led by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Khaled al-Sabah.
Xi described China and the GCC as good brothers, friends and partners featuring high mutual trust, substantial trade cooperation and close cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
He called on the two sides to speed up their free trade area negotiation and sign an agreement as early as possible.
China will work with GCC to promote the building of the new Silk Road economic belt across Eurasia and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that connects the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, which are likely to meet in the Middle East.
With regard to the situation in the Middle East and Gulf region, Xi said China firmly supports the efforts by GCC members to safeguard their sovereignty and regional stability. China also supports GCC in its constructive role in global and regional affairs.
China will strengthen communication and coordination with GCC, the president noted.
He also applauded the China-GCC strategic dialogue.
Sabah conveyed the good wishes of heads of GCC member states to Xi and the Chinese people. He said GCC members attached high importance to relations with China and are willing to further enhance their friendly cooperation in all areas.
He added that GCC members will actively participate in the construction of the new Silk Road economic belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
The third round of China-GCC strategic dialogue was held on Friday morning in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, which was co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Sabah.