Damascus, SANA – The participants in a dialogue workshop organized by Wathiqat Wattan Foundation titled “Heading East… China” called for developing relations with China and enhancing its participation in the reconstruction phase in Syria.
The participants from Syria and Lebanon also recommended establishing universities and institutes to teach the Chinese language and promote student exchange programs to contribute to the Sino-Arab cultural intellectual rapprochement, as well as opening Chinese trade centers in Syria.
In speech at the opening session, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, who is also the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Wathiqat Wattan Foundation, said “The Arab region is witnessing a series of transitions, the most important of which is the rise of China as a global, economic, political, and cultural power, especially since China proposed several projects including the c, and the One Belt and One Road Initiative (OBOR) launched by the Chinese President, the investment Bank and Asian Infrastructure.”
Shaaban pointed out to the importance of such workshops to discuss the role of China in the region and to come up with visions that support the decision-making process to head toward China and enable the Arab societies to be more open to it and benefit from its experience.
“There is a new world that is being formed not on the basis of hegemony and wars, but on the basis of scientific and technical cooperation between countries. Our role is carrying and disseminating Eastern culture and motivating societies in this direction,” she added.
Shaaban also said that the US behavior in the Middle East is an example of colonial domination that should prompt the Arab citizens to reconsider their relation with the Americans.
In turn, Chinese Ambassador to Syria Qi Qianjin said that these meetings are a good opportunity to exchange ideas and proposals, pointing out that his country’s interest lies in going towards the Middle East, especially that 60% of oil and gas imports comes from this region.
The Chinese Ambassador also said that the US is trying its best to use any economic and strategic means to restrict China’s development and expansion globally.
He pointed out that the current events in the Middle East and the loss of security in some countries will not cause China to leave these countries behind, especially Syria which is “a big part of the partnership initiative,” expressing hope that the Syrian government will provide a secure, stable, and favorable environment for trade that is transparent and impartial.
Wathiqat Wattan Foundation is a private institution that focuses on oral history through collecting, recording, and documenting testimonies and narratives, and preserving them according to research and scientific methodologies.
Emma / Hazem Sabbagh