February 15th, 2020
China and Qatar cooperate to fight against novel coronavirus pandemic
(From chinareports.org.cn, Correspondent: Li Chuanjun) On February 11, Chinese President Xi Jinping was invited to have a telephone conversation with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani. They exchanged views on jointly fighting against the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) pandemic and deepening mutual support between China and Qatar on issues involving mutual interests and major concerns, marking a new step in bilateral relations.
During the critical period of China’s fight against the novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic, Qatar has repeatedly expressed its support for China and provided assistance for China in transporting anti-pandemic materials through Qatar air network. This achievement has not come by easily. Since last year, many people and institutions dedicated to promoting China-Qatar bilateral relations have actively coordinated and mediated the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Qatar, which include a strong team formed by Ford Nicholson, President and CEO at Kepis & Pobe Financial Group, Yu Lie, a Swedish Chinese entrepreneur, Lv Feishi, a partner of Beijing Forward Capital Management, and other members.The Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation also plays an important role, Xiao Wunan, Executive Vice Chairman has been involved in this work which is conducive to bilateral relations. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, this team has quickened its pace and finally contributed to the success of events that are of landmark significance to bilateral relations.
Dr. Ali bin Samikh al-Marri (right), the Special Envoy of the head of state of Qatar and Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) meets with Xiao Wunan
On August 22, 2019, at the invitation of Dr. Ali bin Samikh al-Marri, the Special Envoy of the head of state of Qatar and Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) , Xiao Wunan held consultations in Doha on how to establish the “Track Two Diplomacy” through China and Qatar in order to comprehensively promote China-Qatar bilateral relations. At the same time, they reached a lot of consensuses on the establishment of the “China Qatar Forum”, expanding exchanges in the field of human rights, strengthening cooperation in the fields of investment and aviation, and the development of liquefied natural gas. The next day, he visited the headquarter of Qatar Airways at the invitation of Akbar Al-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. They reached a degree of consensus on how China can use Qatar Airways’ global network to facilitate and support the exchange of personnel and materials related to China’s Belt & Road initiative. In the face of this pandemic, Qatar Airways has played a positive role, which fully proves the foresight of his original work.
Akbar Al-Baker (right), CEO of Qatar Airways, and Xiao Wunan have a meeting
On January 18, 2020, Xiao Wunan once again went to Doha at the invitation of Dr. Ali bin Samikh al-Marri, the Special Envoy of the head of state of Qatar and Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), and held consultations on the implementation of the “Track Two Diplomacy” between China and Qatar. They reached a high degree of agreement on the importance of comprehensively enhancing the China-Qatar bilateral relations.
China-Qatar bilateral team has a meeting in Beijing
On February 12, 2020, Dr. Ali bin Samikh al-Marri, the Special Envoy of the head of state of Qatar and Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) , and his party visited Beijing to further discuss the establishment of the “Track Two Diplomacy” between China and Qatar, and they achieved fruitful results. During the meeting with Zheng Xinli, former Deputy Director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC CentralCommittee, Dr. Ali gave a detailed introduction to the founding process of the “Track Two Diplomacy” and put forward many suggestions on the positive role of economic and trade relations in the “Track Two Diplomacy”. During the meeting with Wei Jianguo, Vice Chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges and former Vice Minister of Commerce, Dr. Ali said that through “Track Two Diplomacy”, China will play an active role in the geopolitics in the Middle East and promoting projects of China’s Belt & Road initiative. The Asia Pacific Exchange & Cooperation Foundation arranged the whole visit and hosted a banquet in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse to entertain the delegation.
Wei Jianguo (middle), Vice Chairman of China Center for International Economic Exchanges, meets with the delegation at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse
Since the outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia pandemic, China-Qatar bilateral team realized that in this critical period, we should give full play to the results of past consultations, and then promote the positive attitude and actual support of Qatar during Chinese people’s fight against pandemic. This fully explains the special role played by “Track Two Diplomacy” in some major events, it is also an important achievement of China’s public diplomacy in recent years.
As an important member of six Gulf countries, Qatar has been playing a key role in multilateral diplomacy and geopolitics. Through comprehensive improvement of China-Qatar relations and the establishment of the “Track Two Diplomacy”, Qatar will play a positive role in building China’s global influence and promoting construction of China’s Belt & Road initiative.
Executive Editor: Wang Yubo