Posted on January 31, 2019

The Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the People’s Republic of China, Dr Sultan bin Salmeen Al Mansouri (pictured), said the visit of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to China will push the relations to a new phase of joint and constructive cooperation prospects, which benefits both countries. 

Speaking exclusively to QNA, he said H H the Amir will discuss in China the common issues of interest to both countries, to develop bilateral relations and how to push bilateral relations between the two countries to a stage of strategic partnership. The Ambassador highlighted the importance of the visit of H H the Amir saying, it will be a historic event similar to His Highness’ visit to China in 2014, which established a comprehensive strategic relation between Qatar and China. “The current visit will be complementary, motivating and uplifting to the cooperation between the two countries,” he said. 

The Ambassador said H H the Amir will meet the Chinese leadership to discuss and consult closely on the next phase of the strategic partnership, where the agenda includes a meeting with the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, which will include a round of talks between the two leaderships, in addition to a meeting with the Premier of the State Council of China, Li Keqiang, where they will discuss the latest updates and bilateral relations between both countries. H H the Amir will also meet with Chairman of National People’s Congress as well as other meetings that will be held on the sidelines of the visit with other Chinese officials. He said more than seven very important agreements will be signed which will focus on the strategic dialogue agreement that will open new horizons to develop bilateral relations between both countries, as the agreement was established with China since 2014. 

The Ambassador said after the strategic dialogue agreement, an annual dialogue programme will be held between both countries, which will support many fields most prominently economy, education and culture, as well as bilateral relations between both countries. Other agreements related to education, investment, culture and tourism will be signed. He said the trade volume between both countries reached to nearly $9bn in 2018. The Ambassador pointed out that China is one of the largest countries in the world that relies on clean energy, gas, there are 8.3 million tonnes of gas supplies exported annually to China, which represents about 35% of the total volume of gas consumption and therefore Qatar is the first source of gas to the Republic of China In this area.

On China’s position on the Gulf crisis and the blockade imposed on Qatar, the Ambassador said that China is firmly in its position from the beginning of the crisis, it remains neutral and calls on all parties to dialogue and resolve issues and not to engage in any clashes or obstacles that harm the peoples. He added that China is against the principle of the blockade in general and against any interference in the internal affairs of other countries. During this crisis, China opened all ports to Qatar. In 2017, two direct routes were opened from Port of Shanghai and Port of Guangzhou to Hamad Port. In the near future, there will also be other routes with China, which contributing effectively to the flow of goods and commodities directly from China to Qatar. 

On the initiative of China, known as the “Belt and Road Initiative”, the Qatari Ambassador in Beijing said that Qatar was one of the first countries to support this initiative when it was launched in 2013. During the visit of H H the Amir to China in 2014, he signed an agreement with China to cooperate and join the initiative.