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OMAN: Sultanate keen on joining China’s Silk Road initiative

May 27, 2018 | 10:31 PM


Muscat: The trend of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and Xi Jinping, President of the friendly People’s Republic of China to establish strategic partnership between the two countries stresses the deep-rooted relations between the two friendly countries. It is also an important step for these relations which move steadily to achieve more mutual interests in the various fields.

The trend to establish strategic partnership between the Sultanate and the friendly People’s Republic of China marks the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations on May 25, 1978.

The promotion of the Omani-Sino relations to strategic partnership level, which came at this important anniversary, emanates from the deep appreciation of His Majesty the Sultan and the Chinese President to the remarkable progress made by these relations in light of the actual need to develop it.

This remarkable progress is based on solid bases in the bilateral relations. These bases are connected to long history since the arrival of the Omani merchants and seafarers to the Chinese ports and establishing good relations with the Chinese people. A good example of this is the Omani vessel ‘Sohar’ model in Canton Port of China.

Over the last four decades, the Omani-Sino relations have developed on the different official and popular level, as well as in terms of the value of reciprocal trade which now registers multi-billion US dollars’ worth.

China is the biggest importer of the Omani crude oil.

The two countries have joint investments in technology, energy and industry fields. In this connection, the Chinese Industrial City that will be set up in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD) at a cost of about $10 billion, provides a good example of this relation. The Chinese Industrial City is very important as it will host a number of key mega projects.

Since the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s launch of the “Belt and Road’ Initiative in 2013 to revive the Silk Route and develop the economic relations with parties on this road between East China and Europe crossing Middle Asia and Southern part of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate, which is historically interested in the Silk Road, has been keen on joining the Chinese Infrastructure Bank.

The Sultanate, thanks to its strategic location, has played a significant role in the trade between the East and West.

This enhances the development of bilateral relations, the bilateral confidence between the two friendly countries and expand the joint cooperation fields, especially China has transformed to a super economic power in the world. Moreover, China international political role is growing, especially in areas related to supporting peace efforts and solving problems through peaceful means.

It should be noted that the joint communique, which was issued on the 40th anniversary for establishing diplomatic relations between the Sultanate and the People’s Republic of China included a number of areas that are prioritised in enhancing and developing the bilateral relations in the various fields.

The two countries affirmed that the importance of enhancing communication among both leaderships of the two countries, continuing coordination about bilateral relations and regional and international issues of joint interest and continuing expanding the joint visions. They also stressed their commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs. The Sultanate reaffirmed its firm commitment of One China Principle, while China supports the efforts made by the Sultanate to maintain sovereignty, independence, the safety of territories, national security and stability.

As for the “ Belt and Road’ initiative ‘, the Sultanate of Oman expresses its welcome for the Initiative and is keen on active participation on the projects of the ‘ Belt and Road ‘ initiative. It is also keen on continuing support and participation in the ‘ Belt and Road ‘ Forum for International Cooperation, as well as other relevant important events. China appreciates and welcomes the active participation of the Sultanate in “ Belt and Road’. China welcomed the Sultanate of Oman as a partner cooperating in the building of the “ Belt and Road’ and discussed the signing of the documents related to this initiative.

Due to the multiple fields of cooperation and joint interests in trade, manufacturing industries, and investment, as well as benefiting from the oil, gas and renewable energy sources, the joint economic and trade committee between the two countries plays a vital role in enhancing cooperation fields to achieve the joint and mutual interests. It also enhances cooperation in education, health, scientific research, tourism, youth, sports, law enforcement, security and counter-terrorism.

The Committee shall seek to support the joint efforts to promote the establishment of the free trade zone between China and GCC as soon as possible. They are also keen to enhance coordination and cooperation in the United Nations and other international organisations to reach peaceful solution to the hot issues in the region through dialogue and political negotiation.

This will contribute to promoting stability and security in the region.

While The Sultanate’s appreciates China’s just position and its important role in the region’s affairs, China also supports the active role of the Sultanate in the affairs of the region. Within the frameworks of the strategic partnership, the Omani- Chinese relations are moving towards wider horizons for the benefits and interests of both countries, as well as for the security and stability in the region and the world


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