China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang has emphasized that his country’s approach to its relationship with Saudi Arabia is based on contemporary foundations. He added that Riyadh holds a significant role in China’s diplomatic efforts towards the Middle East.
Looking into the future, China will maintain the Kingdom’s prominent position in its Middle East diplomacy, Gang told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“China will continue to see Saudi Arabia as a high priority in its Middle East diplomacy,” he said.
China will collaborate with Saudi Arabia to further align the Belt and Road Initiative with the Saudi Vision 2030, while jointly advancing global development, security, and civilization initiatives.
The aim is to promote integrated development through mutual progress, enriching the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and the Kingdom with new and modern elements.
Gang noted that the diplomatic relations between the Kingdom and China have been established for 33 years and have seen significant and comprehensive growth.
Their mutual trust on the political level has continuously deepened, and their cooperation has yielded fruitful results, stressed the foreign minister.
As a result, the two countries have become close friends who deal with each other sincerely and on the basis of mutual respect, he added.
Gang also cautioned against US attempts to incite conflict between China and Taiwan, which he believes poses a significant threat to the global order and fundamental principles of international relations.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Gang stated that China is committed to vigorously defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as protecting the rights and interests of its 1.4 billion citizens, including the people of Taiwan.
He clarified that China’s objective is to counter any efforts to divide the country and encourage Taiwan’s independence.
Gang accused the US of attempting to contain China by exploiting Taiwan, thereby impeding its development. He further accused the US of seeking to achieve Taiwan’s independence through military force.
The top diplomat added that the Taiwan issue represents a fundamental interest of China.
The “One China” principle, according to Gang, is a vital political foundation for establishing and developing relationships with countries around the world, as well as being a crucial component of the post-World War II international system.
According to Gang, China welcomed the recent significant step to improve relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which involves exchanging working teams and reopening embassies based on the roadmap and timeline set out in a Beijing-sponsored agreement.
Gang explained that permanent security and safety cannot be achieved without a commitment to the concept of integrated, cooperative, and sustainable collective security, and the adoption of a new approach characterized by dialogue, partnership, and mutual gain, rather than confrontation, bias, or a zero-sum game.
As a trusted friend and close partner of Middle Eastern countries, China will steadfastly support constructive dialogue and communication and assist efforts to achieve strategic independence and strengthen solidarity and coordination.
Gang also stated that China opposes US attempts to pressure Europe into distancing and excluding China.
China has no intention of replacing the US in Europe, said Gang, adding that his country advocates for a cooperative relationship that benefits both China and Europe.
However, China opposes any attempts by the US to interfere with or damage China’s relations with European countries, including France.
Gang emphasized that the enduring strength of Chinese-Russian relations amid changing global circumstances does not pose a threat to any country worldwide and remains unaffected by any third-party interference or attempts to incite discord.
Instead, it represents a positive direction for progress and the advancement of history.
The minister stated that China and Russia will continue to push their comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era and work to maintain the international system, promote multipolarity, democratize international relations, and contribute to the development of humanity.
When it comes to the Ukrainian-Russian crisis, Gang noted that the focus is on ending the violence and pursuing a political resolution, with responsible dialogue being the best course of action.
The ongoing seriousness and complexity of the situation since the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis for over a year is unfortunate and distressing, noted Gang, clarifying that this highlights the reality that conflicts and wars do not produce winners and that imposing sanctions, repression, and further inflaming tensions only lead to further escalation of conflicts.
China did not create the Ukrainian crisis, nor has it taken part in the conflict, stressed Gang.
However, as a responsible major country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has taken a proactive approach to resolving the crisis.
Rather than escalating tensions or worsening the situation, China has consistently advocated for peaceful negotiations and worked to stop the fighting. In all its actions, China prioritizes the values of peace and justice, asserted Gang.
During a phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, it was emphasized that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solutions to the crisis, revealed Gang.
“Regrettably, certain countries, for their own geopolitical interests, do not want to see an early end of the conflict. They make up rumors and slanders against China, and impose unwarranted sanctions on Chinese companies,” he added.