Fruitful Middle East trip brightens region's future
Updated: 2016-01-25 07:39
Children cheer as Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi walks with President Xi Jinping at the presidential palace in Cairo on Jan. 21, 2016. REUTERS
President Xi Jinping's fruitful visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran have highlighted China's strong commitment to the Middle East and its willingness to help usher in a brighter future for the region.
In a speech delivered at the headquarters of the Arab League on Thursday, Xi made clear that China is neither looking for proxies nor trying to fill any "vacuum" in the region; and that instead of another meddling hand it is offering a helping hand.
Since the political unrest in some countries in the Middle East can be traced back to the West's attempts to ferment and manipulate grassroots grievances, and its support for proxies has plunged countries such as Syria deeper into crisis in recent years, China's stance is a responsible one.
Xi's speech should also have dispelled suspicion that China is seeking to fill the vacuum left by the United States' "rebalancing" from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific.
China has a growing stake in the security of the region, which well explains its consistent approach to tackling crises in the region through political solutions.
The breakthrough made in the Iranian nuclear issue and the headway made in pursuing a negotiated solution to the Syria crisis show China's insistence on dialogue and political solutions is winning increasing support.
Decades of old and new conflicts have left people in the Middle East, especially those people in the war-torn areas, in dire straits. China sees economic development and improving the livelihoods of people in the region as the fundamental solutions to the turmoil, and it is promoting cooperation with countries in the region on the basis of respecting state sovereignty.
During his trip, Xi proposed a series of measures that will help countries in the region actively participate in China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to connect the vibrant East Asia economy with the developed European economy via Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. This promises to bring real benefits to local people.
China has also offered billions of US dollars in loans and investment as well as political and security support to help the Middle East. We believe these efforts represent a golden opportunity for the Middle East to embark on a new path that will help it emerge from its current turmoil.