By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
The 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and China represents a new phase in which further initiatives will be launched to enhance co-operation between the two countries, China’s ambassador to Qatar Li Chen has stressed.
The envoy, who hosted a dinner reception in Doha recently to mark the occasion, said that China is keen and ready to work with Qatar to continue the progress of co-operation and friendship.
He expressed hope that a new chapter on relations between the two countries is being written to record the various achievements.
The reception was attended by the Governor of Qatar Central Bank HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) secretary-general HE Dr Ahmed bin Hassan al-Hammadi, MoFA chief of protocol Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro, heads of diplomatic missions, and other dignitaries and guests.
Addressing the guests, the ambassador said that relations between the two countries have matured and become stronger over three decades of diplomatic ties.
This offers promising opportunities and the scope for a brighter and broader future.
“China is now working on enhancing openness and support for joint work for the Belt and Road initiative, while Qatar is working towards Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims for diversification of the national economy and self-dependence,” the envoy said.
“This has made China and Qatar more qualified at this particular time to strengthen their co-operation and work together to attain mutual interests,” he noted.
Besides co-operation in the fields such as energy, trade and infrastructure, Qatar and China have also sought expansion in different areas of co-operation in recent years like communication, finance and investment, industry, security and military and the fight against terrorism.
This has further raised co-operation between the two countries to higher levels.
The ambassador said that at the international level the two countries have co-operated and co-ordinated efforts to work towards peace and stability in the region and the world.
They have also worked together on defending the common interests of developing countries and on building a human society marked by peace and friendship.
Further, the ambassador stressed the deep and friendly relations between the Qatari and the Chinese people as the two countries have lately agreed on exempting the citizens of both countries from visa requirements, which will be implemented soon, giving Qatari and Chinese citizens more freedom of movement.
Qatar Airways operates direct flights between Doha and seven cities in China, making travel easier between the two countries.
In addition, the number of Chinese tourists amounted to nearly 45,000 for 2017, a 26% increase compared with the previous year.
All the figures indicate positive and progressively advancing relations between the two countries.
For instance, trade volume between the two countries amounted to $10.3bn in 2017, growing by 200 times compared with the corresponding figure 30 years ago.
In addition, many Chinese companies are entering the Qatari market on major projects, and similarly Qatari firms are entering the Chinese market.
The Chinese ambassador thanked all those who have contributed to such developments and achievements in bilateral relations, expressing confidence that more will come soon.
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