|Wang Yi Holds a Group Meeting with Troika Foreign Ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)|
On September 26, 2018 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a group meeting with Troika Foreign Ministers and representatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah of Kuwait, the current rotating presidency of the GCC, representative of Foreign Minister of Oman, the incoming rotating presidency of the GCC as well as Secretary General of the GCC Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani attended the meeting.
Wang Yi said that the GCC is a stable force in the Middle East and plays an important role in regional peace and development. The Chinese side attaches great importance to the cooperative relationship with the GCC and supports the GCC countries in independently exploring development paths. We are willing to, together with the GCC, strengthen strategic communication, enhance mutual trust, expand consensus, coordinate actions, and continue to support the GCC countries in safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests in international affairs. We are willing to work with the GCC countries to take the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and the GCC countries as a handle to build a community with a shared future for both sides.
Wang Yi said that the economic complementarity between China and the GCC countries is obvious, and both sides are natural cooperative partners. The Chinese side agrees that the two sides should restart the free trade zone negotiations as soon as possible, which will be an important part of the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative between China and the GCC countries. Against the current background of rising unilateralism and trade protectionism, if China and the GCC countries could reach a free trade arrangement, it will not only provide strong impetus for respective development, but also support the free trade system with our practical actions.
The GCC side said that the GCC countries attach great importance to their relations with China. At present, both sides have witnessed the frequent high-level exchanges, steadily advanced cooperation in various fields and achieved fruitful results from strategic dialogues. China has become the most important trading partner of the GCC. The Gulf countries are willing to meet the Chinese side halfway and strive to reach an agreement on the free trade zone through negotiation at an early date. The GCC countries agreed to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China in international affairs.
The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern. Wang Yi stressed that the Chinese side supports the Gulf countries in properly resolving their differences through friendly consultation to jointly commit to regional peace and development.