Opinion| Arab-Chinese Summits and features of the new world

Hatem Sadek
6 Min Read

The three Arab-Chinese Summits hosted in the Saudi capital of Riyadh inaugurated a new phase in international relations.

Indeed, the outcomes of these summits represent a comprehensive economic and political vision different from the previous ones, whether in the Middle East or the world.

This is especially so since the parties to those summits have become a political and economic alliance that cannot be underestimated and managed during the last period to put their fingerprints on many regional and global issues to a degree that forced traditional global powers to change their positions and strategic plans.

There are many positive results of the Arab-Chinese Summits in terms of investments, economy, and trade exchange, but the most important of these results is the insistence on the need to exit and put an end to the unipolar world  and move on to a multipolar world based on international cooperation, not the issuance of orders from one party that remained dominant since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Certainly, the Ukrainian crisis was the spark for the transition to this new world despite its repercussions, which exhausted the global economy.

The summits also gave China strong support in the Taiwan crisis, committing to the One China Principle, dealing a blow to all American and Western attempts to seek Taiwan’s independence.

Also, the summits succeeded in laying a building block for cooperation in terms of fifth-generation technology that Beijing seeks to spread in all countries of the world despite American attempts to prevent it.

The closing statements of the three summits included several topics, most notably emphasising the importance of cooperation, facing global challenges, reaching a just solution to the Palestinian cause, condemning the financing of terrorism, supporting the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, ensuring the peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear programme, as well as condemning the Houthi attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.

The summits also affirmed support for the sovereignty of Iraq and efforts to reach a political solution in Yemen, Syria, and Libya, and support for the sovereignty and stability of Lebanon.

Globally, the summits stressed the strengthening of security and stability in Afghanistan, efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine, the importance of maintaining the international system based on law, and adhering to the concepts of common security.

Additionally, the summits emphasised support for international economic recovery efforts, addressing the negative economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and other challenges, working to ensure flexibility of supply chains, and security of food and energy supplies, pushing for building cooperative relations in developing clean energy sources and technologies, and helping countries most in need and contributing to meeting their needs.

The leaders also affirmed their positions in support all international efforts aiming to find a political solution to end the crisis in Ukraine under international law and the Charter of the UN to achieve the protection of lives and property and to preserve regional and international security and stability.

Furthermore, the final statement included an agreement to “strengthen international efforts within the framework of the UN to combat climate change, including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement within its framework.”

This is in addition to supporting initiatives aiming to achieve green development, including Saudi Arabia’s Green Middle East initiative and China’s Green Silk Road initiative.

The summits also stressed the importance of combating the international community’s avoidance of excluding or neglecting investment in major energy sources, which leads to challenges in energy markets and an unequal impact, especially on developing societies and countries.

Finally, the final statement called for strengthening efforts to combat and condemn terrorism in all its forms, images, and motives, and the need to combat it and not link it to any race, religion, nationality, or civilisation, uprooting its roots and drying up its sources, in addition to rejecting double standards in combating terrorism.

The statement also called for “promoting dialogue between civilizations and respect for different cultures, rejecting claims of hatred, extremism, and the clash of civilizations between followers of religions and cultures, and affirming opposition to Islamophobia in all its forms.”

These unprecedented summits, their results, and the timing of their launch confirm that the world is bidding farewell to the unipolar world order that has exhausted it since the collapse of the Berlin Wall at the end of the 1980s and that a new, multipolar world order will take its place, but this time, one of the most important poles will be the Arab pole led by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

* Hatem Sadek is a Professor at Helwan University

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