“Heading East” Towards China

heading east
heading east

The workshop was chaired by Dr. Buthaina Shaaban, the chairperson of the board of trustees at Wathiqat Wattan, in the presence of the Ambassador of the State of China in Syria, as well as a group of Arab and Syrian thinkers.

The workshop worksheet included the following points in relation to the transformations affecting the Arab region: fighting terrorism, the comprehensive change in the regional balance of power, the roles played by other countries in the region, the new change in the way America approaches the concept of direct domination, and the growing roles of many countries especially China and Russia and their repercussions on the international system.

The most important of these changes, according to the views of the attendees, was the emergence of China as an economic and political power. China introduced several projects, namely: “New Silk Road”, “One-Way Road Initiative” and “Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank” which massively affect the Arab region. The biggest evidences of China’s growing interest in the Arab region and its vital location for Chinese interests are launching its Arab strategy in early 2016, the appointment of a special envoy to Syria and setting a huge naval base in Bab al- Mandeb.

This workshop aims at benefiting from the successful experiences regarding the Arab-Chinese relations, developing creative ideas to facilitate the process of moving towards China, developing plans of action to help Chinese friends evaluate the region in the most appropriate manner, and cooperating with them in achieving common political and economic goals.

The most important conclusion of this workshop is the need to orient eastward on the basis of scientific, technical, administrative and economic cooperation, which contributes to the growth and prosperity of trade relations and cultural and knowledge exchanges.


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