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‘Sheikh Mishal to open Games’
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 13: The Chinese Ambassador to Kuwait Zhang Jianwei says the visit of His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad to open the Asian Games will be very important, and he will receive a warm reception from the Chinese side. He indicated the arrangement for a meeting between His Highness Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad with the Chinese leaders, adding, “This visit is very important for the bilateral relations. We are coordinating with the relevant authorities to make this visit a success.”
Ambassador Jianwei said during a press conference held yesterday afternoon at the Chinese Cultural Center. He met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad, and they exchanged views on enhancing cooperation between China and Kuwait in all fields, especially since Kuwait is going through a new stage to achieve a new development. Ambassador Jianwei affirmed that “China is ready to enhance cooperation in all fields.
We touched on issues of common interest. I believe that the exchange of visits between officials plays a positive role in a strategic partnership.” Regarding China’s role in mediation in the Durra gas field, Ambassador Jianwei said, “I have not heard any request in this matter from the Kuwaiti, Saudi, or Iranian side. I believe that the countries concerned have the ability and desire to resolve this challenge through negotiation and a political solution. We believe that the countries concerned will find fair and reasonable solutions as always in the end.”
Regarding mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Ambassador Jianwei explained that “China, based on a request from Iran and Saudi Arabia, played a positive mediating role. This is a positive role for China emanating from China’s foreign policy. We will continue to call for peace and development, especially since we consider the Middle East region very important to the world and we support the countries of the region in making decisions according to their independent will. Our mediation is consistent with the desires of the countries of the region and the aspirations of their people for security, stability and development.”
Belt and Road
Ambassador Jianwei said, “The Belt and Road Initiative, which was proposed by the Chinese President ten years ago, was very popular with the international community. We will continue to exert efforts to enhance cooperation with all countries that desire development and progress, especially since China has now become the largest trading partner for more than 140 countries.
China refuses to politicize economic issues. The world is going through a difficult phase, especially as we face serious challenges. Cooperation and solidarity among the international community are necessary to face these challenges. China will always remain the peaceful force and partner to advance global development, and the Chinese side is ready with all countries to confront every difficulty or challenge.” Regarding Chinese companies in Kuwait, Ambassador Jianwei confirmed that more than 60 Chinese companies have entered Kuwait since the end of the 1970s, and played a very important role in its infrastructural development. He explained that the companies have the ability and rich experiences to participate in the country’s infrastructure.
They are accustomed to the Kuwaiti market and therefore want to enhance cooperation in the field of infrastructure development of roads, bridges, housing, etc. Five years ago, there were no Chinese cars on the streets of Kuwait, but now Chinese cars can be seen everywhere in the Kuwaiti market. There are 28 Chinese brands in the car market. The Chinese industry is known to be excellent in quality, and Chinese designs and standards are used in Kuwait. This may help accelerate the pace of development in this field.
Public Investment Authority
Regarding the Public Investment Authority’s investments in China, Ambassador Jianwei said the opening of the second office in China confirms the Kuwaiti side’s interest in Chinese cooperation and economic and banking investment, adding that this cooperation is considered an important part of our relations, and the Kuwaiti sovereign fund has been investing in China for years and has yielded excellent returns, especially after the development of Chinese-Arab and Chinese-Gulf relations. Regarding China’s efforts to present itself as an alternative to America in the region, he stressed that China did not seek to close any vacuum left by any party, “as we devote our efforts to developing ourselves and improving the lives of the Chinese people. This is the main mission of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government. We are working to enhance cooperation with Arab countries and the Gulf.”
The Chinese ambassador stressed that Kuwait is the first Arabian Gulf country to establish diplomatic relations with China, and the first Arab country to take the initiative to sign a memorandum of understanding with China for the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, in addition to being the Arab country that provides China with preferential government loans. Ambassador Jianwei revealed that China, since 2015, has maintained its position as Kuwait’s largest trading partner, adding that in 2022, the total volume of bilateral trade between the two countries reached USD 31.48 billion, an annual increase of 42.3 percent. He stressed that Kuwait is the seventh largest source of crude oil imports to China, as China imported 33.28 million tons of crude oil from it, an annual increase of 10.34 percent. Ambassador Jianwei indicated that the total Chinese direct investments in Kuwait are worth a total of about USD 550 million, making it the second largest source of foreign investment in Kuwait, adding that the Public Investment Authority established its second office abroad in Shanghai in 2018. By Fares Al-Abdan Al-Seyassah / Arab Times Staff
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