The ongoing blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt should be de-escalated as quickly as possible to maintain the stability of the GCC region, urged Li Chengwen, ambassador for China-Arab States Co-operation Forum (CASCF) Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Speaking to visiting journalists from Qatar on the occasion of 30 years of the establishment of diplomatic relationships with China, he stressed that the GCC should not be left to drift towards dissolution and chaos as the member nations have long and deep shared history and are considered brothers. Besides, the GCC is an important organisation for both the member states and China and highly instrumental in attaining their common interests.
“The GCC countries have their own peaceful ways to resolve their disputes and differences and we know well that these have worked fine in the past years. So, they should start an open dialogue as soon as possible as the escalation of the situation is not suitable or good for the security and stability of the GCC region,” the ambassador pointed out, highlighting the hopes of China that the GCC countries resume their normal good relations as soon as possible.
Chengwen recalled that last year he met separately with both Qatar's and UAE's foreign ministers, and listened to their views.
“The issue needs wisdom and the deep-rooted traditions of dialogue to resolve the internal disputes. We are looking forward to a resolution soon as the unity of GCC countries is key to us,” he said.
The Chinese diplomat described Qatar-China relationships throughout the past 30 years as strong, smooth and developing rapidly as the two countries constantly exchange visits and views, even at the top levels, and support each other’s stands with regard to common interests and major causes and issues.
“Co-ordination is continuing between the two countries for the upcoming celebrations of the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relationships,” he revealed.
Chen Tao also hoped for a quick resolution of the GCC crisis.
Chengwen stressed that Qatar has been the first to support the Belt and Road initiative, which entails the construction of routes that run through the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, connecting the vibrant East Asia economic circle at one end and developed European economic circle at the other.
Qatar is a key strategic trade partner to China as it supplies around 20% of China’s need for LNG with 7.48mn cu m in 2017, which constituted an increase of 51% compared to the previous year. Many Chinese companies are working in key construction projects in Qatar. The relationship is deep between the two peoples through cultural events and art exhibitions. Qatar has also played an important role in the success of the last CASCF, held in Doha two years ago.
Chengwen pointed out the efforts of the Chinese government on economic openness and improving the life of people, enhancing their lifestyle and alleviate poverty.
He said that contrary to popular perception China has eight democratic parties that take part in the governance of the country alongside the ruling Communist Party, stressing the Chinese experience has been successful and the government have more plans to maintain and enhance such success.
Similarly, Chen Tao, deputy general director of the Information Department at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stressed the importance of Qatar to China and expressed his view that Qatar's hosting of the FIFA 2022 World Cup is an important event that would reflect positively on the whole region.
He also hoped for a quick and peaceful resolution of the GCC crisis for the stability of the region and expressed his happiness about Qatar’s open policy in terms of economy and in granting visas to nationals of many countries.