In recent years, China has transitioned from a marginal to a major partner for each of the Gulf states. Building upon a foundation of trade, the relationships have become increasingly complex and dense, incorporating finance and investment, political and diplomatic cooperation, military training and exchanges, and cultural and educational programs. As the Gulf states’ ‘Vision’ development programs and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) create synergy, opportunities for deeper cooperation increase. This is compounded by a series of strategic partnerships signed between China and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf states.This keynote presentation begins with a brief historical overview of the China-Gulf relationship, emphasizing that both domestic and strategic forces were responsible for bringing the two sides closer together. It then analyzes the relationships in the Belt and Road era, providing an overview of the BRI and its importance in China’s foreign policy, and then discussing the five cooperation priorities of the BRI (policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and people-to-people bonds) to demonstrate the depth of China-Gulf relations. It concludes with remarks about what we can expect about the future of China’s role in the Gulf.
China-Arab Relations: The Legacy of the Great Silk Road
Seldom does the literature and discussion on UAE-China relations focus beyond the expanding economic ties. Exploring the ‘what next’ dimension of this engagement reveals tentative, but interesting, attempts to diversify towards ‘strategic’ cooperation that offers alternative possibilities for UAE-Gulf security and stability in the long term. The proposed presentation explores how the UAE becoming a part of the Belt and Road Initiative could serve as an incentive for China to get involved in the region’s political and security dynamics.
Several key issues in the peace process talks are so complex that it is difficult to reach a package agreement, such as: Jewish settlements issue, Jerusalem issue, Palestine refugees issue, Palestinian statehood issue, etc. Perhaps only with a developmental and forward-looking vision can these difficult problems be solved step by step. China has solved the territorial problems left over from history by using the political innovation thinking of "one country, two systems". In fact, it is using a kind of development and forward looking thinking to resolve the conflict. The solution to the conflict can draw on this kind of political innovation: for example, in the form of "two states share one capital" To promote the start of the Peace Process through Development and Cooperation: let all parties concerned see the opportunity to improve their lives through economic development and cooperation, and let the people see the hope of future life. China’s Belt and Road initiative can provide a platform for cooperation and development among the countries of the Middle East and contribute to the Middle East peace process. For example, China, Jordan and Palestine could promote the establishment of industrial parks to create jobs for the Palestinian and local people, improve the lives of the Palestinian people and create conditions for the peace process.
Historically, the Silk Road is a network of trade routes connecting East and West. It played a vital role in the construction of cultural bridges between different civilizations across time. Maps were integral part of the historical process which characterize the establishment and development of the Silk Roads. Maps portraying the silk road trajectories were considered as a key element which left its impact on many cultural and commercial exchanges between different counties located on the Silk Road. As a catalyst which participated in the integration of various civilizations and resulting into the sharing of knowledge among different nations, the construction of maps during the Silk Road golden time should be revisited in order to illustrate their significance from different perspectives. The Silk Road generated a milieu of human knowledge where philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, geography and cartography are integrated within a trans-cultural venue promoting values of dialogue and shared interests. Within this context and in the light of recent studies on the topic, the paper will approach the Silk Road through different ancient maps during different historical periods. It will illustrate the description of the Silk Road by a multiplicity of well-established cartographers. The paper argues that, maps and charts that have been produced over centuries have impacted each other triggering crucial events and bringing about a great development in the geographical scope. These 4 ancient maps have crucially contributed to the creation of a trans-cultural dialogue that leads to reconciliation rather than conflict of civilizations. Undoubtedly, these maps are valuable testimonies serving as witness to cultural exchange throughout the history of the Silk Road.
Keywords: silk road, cartography, ancient period, civilization
As a regional power and developing country with ancient civilizations, China and Egypt are politically mutual trusting, economically complementary. In 1956, Egypt took the lead to establish diplomatic relations with China among the Middle East and African countries. Henceforth the two countries have shared common or similar interests and political stances in regional and international issues, mutually supporting each other’s core interests. In 1999, China and Egypt formally established strategic partnership for twenty-first Century, which was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership in December 2014. The Belt and Road Initiative, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, has been injecting new momentum into the strategic partnership. The sustainable and fruitful development co-operations between the two countries in the framework of BR Initiative per se is the substance of the comprehensive strategic partnership. In June 2014, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi won the presidency and was re-elected as president this year, makes Egypt gradually stepping into the road of stability and development. The leaderships of China and Egypt have strong political will to advance BR programs. In the beginning of September of 2018, Al-Sisi and the accompanying Egyptian business delegation signed agreements that will increase Chinese investments in Egypt by $18.3 billion during Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, yet there are many difficulties and challenges waiting for the governments and business community of China and Egypt.
Sheikh Zayed’s Vision of Human Development & A Community of Shared Future For Mankind
Doing research works on Zayed’s thought is totally brand new field for me to step in while the book entitled as With United Strength benefits me a lot in understanding the details of Shaikh Zayed’s principles and social thought in terms of “academic and objective standard” as Shaikh Mohamod highlights in the Preface.
Viewing Zayed’s Thought through Perspective of Cross-Cultural Understanding and Studies, we can see that the methodology adopted in demonstrating the roots and the background is a sort of intercultural philosophical analysis, which includes various aspects of social conditions, cultural circumstances and their historical evolution. A classical way in term of the philosophy of history which was founded by the great Muslim living at the medieval time named Ibn Khaldun has been practiced in this book and will testify and enrich this classical theory.
Comparative studies locate at the core of such a methodology.
Taking this significant work as a base, the further researches in a broaden vision would improve the understanding and studies on cross eastern and western civilizations in terms of the cultural origins and their evolutions going along with historical human developments.
The 16th century witnessed sharp reconfigurations of trade administration in the Arabian sea, which included intricate and volatile arrangements between the Portuguese crown and local authorities. Several documents illustrate both reactive and strategic solutions for managing the old, interregional trade routes of a maritime Silk Road.
The Energy Cooperation between China and Middle Eastern Countries includes 3 aspects: traditionally in the Petroleum and Gas sectors and the newly emerging in the Solar energy sector. Energy cooperation between China and Middle Eastern Countries in the petroleum sector is of the paramount importance, calculated by value, 49.3% of China’s imported crude oil come from the Middle Eastern Countries in 2017. However, the share of Middle Eastern crude gradually decreased in recent several years while China diversify its oil import, and during 2012~2017, the share of Middle eastern crude decreased from 54.8% to 49.3%, while the exact share increased from 53.8% to 58.7% between 2007 to 2011. And cooperation in the gas sector follows the same pattern with crude, the share of Middle Eastern gas in China’s total gas imports decreases from 33.5% to 23.0% between 2012~2017. Share decrease plus oil and gas prices went down, the total value of China’s crude imports from Middle Eastern Countries decrease from $121.4 billion to $81.8 billion, as well as the China’s gas import from Middle Eastern Countries decreased from $5.6 billion to $4.5 billion. And When cooperation within the tradition energy sectors losing momentums, cooperation between China and Middle Eastern Countries in the renewable energy sectors was gaining the strength, the value of China’s photovoltaic cells exports to the Middle Eastern countries increased from $132 million to $716 million between 2012 to 2017, the annual increase rate was as high as 52.6%, and the share of Middle Eastern countries in China’s total photovoltaic cells export increased from 0.75% to 4.3% during the same period. The above mentioned changes related to trade flow of energy products means that energy cooperation between China and Middle Eastern countries was gradually transit from one-way pattern to two-way solution.
The United Arab Emirates is the first Gulf Arab country to establish a strategic partnership with China. Mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the U.A.E is also the most extensive and in-depth in the Middle East region. China-U.A.E relationship has developed rapidly since the establishment of diplomatic relations in the year of 1984, especially in the field of economic cooperation. The UAE has become China's second largest trade partner in the Middle East.
The United Arab Emirates has a wealth of oil resources and superior strategic position, it’s the transportation hub and financial center of the Gulf region. and it is an important gateway and logistics hub for Chinese goods to enter the market of the Middle East and African Countries. To implement the Belt and Road strategy with the UAE combined with a high degree of cooperation at the national level, and foundation of cooperation between the two countries is deep. And at the same time, this kind of cooperation is also faced with certain risks. By taking corresponding measures, to cooperate "the Belt and Road" strategy with the UAE can make a win-win situation, achieving fruitful results. This situation can not only to promote the economic cooperation between China and UAE in depth, but also to strengthen bilateral political trust and support. having a good demonstration effect and far-reaching strategic significance to the countries along “the Belt and Road” line.
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