(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Sidi Mohamed / The Peninsula
The Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Qatar, Zhou Jian, has said that the Gulf crisis is now entering the third year and the Chinese people are deeply sorry for this and China wants to see the most is the unity and harmony among our Arab friends.
'The least we want is 'quarrels among brothers. It is not beneficial to any country, nor to the entire GCC. China appreciates Qatar's rational and wise response to the crisis. We sincerely hope that all parties could consider the common interests of the Arab world, and to resolve differences through peaceful dialogue within the framework of the GCC, said the Ambassador.
Speaking to reporters recently, Jian said: 'We hope relations (among GCC countries) could return to normal as soon as possible, so as to maintain peace and stability in the region. We believe that all parties have the wisdom and capability to resolve their differences. China is willing to play an active and constructive role in this regard.
About energy cooperation between both countries, he said Qatar is increasing its LNG production. 'Meanwhile in China, the demand of natural gas is skyrocketing, as we are pursuing green, low-carbon, sustainable development to fulfil our promise in climate change.
'At present, Qatar has become China's second largest source of LNG import. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people are using the gas from Qatar. In 2018, companies from both sides signed a new long-term contract. China is the largest growing market for natural gas, which brings Qatar new strategic opportunities, he noted.
Regarding Infrastructure cooperation, the Ambassador explained that within the framework of 'National Vision 2030 and 2022 World Cup, a series of strategic projects are now undergoing, many of them require high standards in quality.
Currently, the Ambassador said, Chinese companies are undertaking a number of major projects such as the Lusail Stadium, the water reserves, Hamad Port, Hamad International Airport, and also 5G Communications.
On cooperation in finance and investment sector, Jian said: 'The Qatar Central Bank has become the first bank in the Middle East to enter the Chinese inter-bank bond market. The two countries have signed currency swap agreements. Last year, China invested $1.37bn US dollars in Qatar. China is also welcoming more Qatari companies to the Chinese market.
On cultural ties, he said that in 2016, the China-Qatar Year of Culture was warmly welcomed by the local people. 'The two countries signed the mutual visa exemption agreement, a 'trip without plan has become reality for both citizens. In 2018, the number of Chinese citizens coming to Qatar reached 62,000, and more than 3,000 Qatar citizens went to China. In the next few years, the numbers are expected to grow profoundly.
The Ambassador said that at the beginning of this year, the China-Qatar Friendship Council and the Qatar-China Friendship Association were established. 'These will serve as new platforms for mutual understanding and friendship. During the holy month of Ramadan this year, the documentary 'Traveler's Footprint - China went broadcast on TV, creating a new round of 'China Heat in Qatar, he added.