The Chinese embassy in Doha marked Wednesday the 74th anniversary of the foundation of the People's Republic of China and the 34th anniversary of the official establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Qatar.
The celebration was hosted by the Chinese chargé d'affaires Chen Yue, who stressed the deeply rooted Qatar-China relationships that goes back to the 12th century as early as 1300 CE.
He also thanked all the participants at the celebration, in particular Qatar's Minister of Municipality HE Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie, Centre for Strategic Studies Commander Major General (Doctor/Pilot) Rashid Hamad al-Nuaimi, IPA Qatar CEO Sheikh Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of Protocol director Yousif Fakhro.
Addressing the gathering, Yue, pointed out that "Chinese merchant ships set sail from Guangzhou Port and arrived at the Arabian Peninsula, making Qatari pearls as renowned treasures along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, initiating the wonderful story of friendship between China and Qatar, symbolied by the exchange of pearls and goods. On July 9, 1988, China and Qatar officially established diplomatic relations. Over the past 35 years, the two countries have understood and supported each other, jointly composing a splendid chapter of friendly and win-win cooperation.
"China and Qatar have maintained close high-level exchanges with our friendship growing stronger. President Xi Jinping and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani have met five times in a decade, chartering the course for the development of China-Qatar relations. Our two countries have built a high-quality strategic mutual trust, firmly supported each other on issues involving core interests and major concerns, and stayed in close coordination and cooperation on significant international and regional issues.
"Over the past 35 years, we have sown hard work and reaped achievements. Mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries has achieved fruitful outcomes. Last year, the total trade volume between China and Qatar reached $26.55bn, with a year-on-year growth of 54.7%. For three consecutive years, China has become Qatar's largest trading partner, top source of imports, and top destination for exports.
"Nine years since the signing of the Belt and Road Cooperation Agreement between China and Qatar, our practical cooperation has been continuously expanded and enhanced. The two countries have set benchmarks and made breakthroughs in various fields including economy, trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, high-tech industries, and green initiatives. From Lusail Stadium to Hongqi automobiles, from Al Kharsaah Solar Power Plant to water-saving farms, Chinese brands and technology are flourishing throughout Qatar."
Yue stressed that the two countries has proven to maintain strong and enduring friendship for the good of their peoples and displayed a mutual will to further enhance such relations on all fields.
"In recent years, an increasing number of young Qataris are learning Chinese and developing the appreciation for Chinese culture, Doha has become a must-visit destination for Chinese tourists. This year, the first group of Qatari youth travelled to Beijing to participate in the "Chinese Bridge" summer camp.
"The first pair of giant pandas in the Middle East, "Thuraya" and "Suhail", have been in Qatar for one year, and Qatari friends held grand birthday celebrations respectively for them. This year, Qatar will host the Sixth China-Arab Friendship Conference, composing a new chapter of China-Arab and China-Qatar friendship, "said the Chinese envoy.
The charge d'affaires also pointed out that "74 years ago, the People's Republic of China was formally founded, and the Chinese people have embarked on a new era of independently running the country, and since then China has stood up, grown prosperous and become strong."
"Today’s China is full of vitality in high-quality development. In the first half of year 2023, China's GDP grew by 5.5% year-on-year, significantly outperforming other major economies in the world. During this period, China's imports and exports exceeded 20 trillion Chinese yuan for the first time, the domestically-produced large aircraft C919 successfully completed its inaugural commercial flight, and exports of new energy vehicles, lithium batteries, solar cells, and other products increased by a combined 61.6%.
"Besides, Since the “Belt and Road” Initiative was put forward ten years ago, it has attracted nearly a trillion dollars in investment, with over 3,000 cooperative projects established, creating 420,000 job opportunities for countries along the “Belt and Road” and lifting nearly 40mn people out of poverty."
Yue also expressed his strong hopes that "looking forward to the next 35 years, China and Qatar should continue to sow hope and reap the future."
Chinese chargé d'affaires Chen Yue is joined by Qatar's Minister of Municipality HE Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie and other dignitaries Wednesday at the celebrations. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Chinese chargé d'affaires Chen Yue and embassy officials.
A view of the gathering.