China reveals plans for military cooperation with Arab states
The Chinese Defense Ministry has signaled its readiness to strengthen military cooperation with the Gulf states in order to promote “world peace.” The statement came weeks after President Xi Jinping attended the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Saudi Arabia.
When asked by a journalist on Thursday about the “eight joint actions” proposed by Xi at the meetings, Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said: “The Chinese military is willing to work with the militaries of Arab countries” to “jointly promote global security initiatives,” among other things.
Deeper ties would contribute positively to “the building of a China-Arab community with a shared future,” he added.
Tan went on to describe the Chinese Army as well as those of Arab nations as “important forces for maintaining world peace and stability.” He noted that Beijing and regional powers have shared military technology and held joint drills in recent years.
According to the ministry’s spokesperson, this “fruitful cooperation” has helped build “strategic mutual trust” between China and Arab countries.
President Xi was on an official visit to Riyadh at the invitation of King Salman from December 7-10.
Speaking at the Chinese-Arab summit, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed that discussions had been held regarding the “creation of a free-trade zone between China and the countries of the Persian Gulf.”
On top of that, the Gulf states and China confirmed plans to jointly work toward solving “problems of food and energy security,” as well as cooperating on supply chains, the crown prince added.
Beijing and Riyadh signed a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding as a result.
The Chinese head of state also held a separate meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.