Fifth China-Arab States Expo to begin in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

The fifth China-Arab States Expo will begin today in China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. China is the largest crude oil

MERICS Mercator Institute for China Studies CBC News

Image: MERICS/CBC News

The fifth China-Arab States Expo will begin today in China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

China is the largest crude oil importer and a major trading partner of the Gulf Cooperation Council states (GCC). The main objective of today’s four-day expo is to increase cooperation and trade volume between the two, especially in the fields of science-technology and medicine. Notable scholars and leading tech firms will attend the event to facilitate this growth.

Expect China and the Arab Gulf to further highlight the benefit of and gain ground on establishing the China-GCC Free Trade Agreement as a result of the expo. Beijing will attach special importance to strengthening these partnership as improving China-Arab ties will strengthen the Belt and Road Initiative’s trade route and relations development through infrastructure building. Expect there to be an increase in Chinese-funded projects in the Gulf similar to the construction project of the Khalifa Airport’s container terminal.

Apart from the long-term economic implications of improving ties with Beijing, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi will use today’s expo to pull Beijing away from their regional rival Iran—one of Beijing’s key trading partner. In this context, the BRI could appeal to some Arab Gulf states.

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