no enduring opening between our two worlds followed these
expeditions, the seeds of exchange and friendship were planted
then. Today, we mark a joint determination, a shared interest,
and a common agenda in expanding this partnership.
China and the Arab World
are central to the resolution of the most important 21st Century
issues: from the stability of the world economy, to global
peace and security, to the future of intercultural understanding
and cooperation. We seek to safeguard our people from the
violence of war and the threat of terrorism; to grow our economies
and create new prosperity; to access and increase knowledge
and enjoy its benefits; to build our societies, and offer
hope to our young people.
Clearly, in this globalized
age, we cannot achieve these aims in isolation. We must work
together. And no partnership is more important or multi-dimensional
than that between China and the Arab World.
Jordan is at the centre
of one of the world’s most strategic areas. Our region
stands at the nexus of continents. But stability, peace and
progress, remain under assault, by a legacy of poverty and
conflict. Meeting these challenges, in our region, can help
advance important global interests, including those of China.
In turn, we in the Arab
World are deeply interested in China’s success. We look
to your country as a model of effective development and a
leader in international affairs. We recognize China’s
decisive voice in peacemaking and international cooperation,
through your permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and
other global roles. We value your intellectual and cultural
wealth, and your commitment to the development of nations
large and small. And we need your economic partnership –
through trade and investment.
These are the reasons that
I see a major role for China in the future of the Middle East,
and a growing partnership worldwide. Working together, we
can speed the resolution of regional conflicts, avoid future
threats, and contribute to global political and economic stability.
Let me address two critical
areas, the ending of conflict and the expansion of development.
The long and destructive
conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is at the core
of regional instability and a concern of Muslims worldwide.
Palestinians have waited for global justice and a homeland
for almost 60 years. It is time for peace. Earlier this year,
the Arab countries reaffirmed the historic initiative they
agreed on, in 2002, with provisions for a just, comprehensive
and lasting settlement. Jordan has taken a leading role in
advocating movement towards restarting the peace process and
establishing a Palestinian state on the basis of the Arab
Today we have a significant
opportunity to advance the peace process for the first time
in many years as we prepare for the international meeting
later this year. We need to ensure that such an opportunity
delivers an outcome that brings the parties closer to a two-state
solution. The breakthroughs that can be achieved will also
lead to progress in resolving the wider Arab-Israel conflict.
China can play an important
role in supporting this process, both as a world power and
a respected and trusted Asian neighbour. We appreciate the
steps China has already taken, including naming a Special
Envoy on the Middle East. And we view with admiration the
role of Chinese observers in Lebanon and its commitment to
a presence in Darfur under the United Nations.
A second key area of common
cause between our nations is development. Despite the region’s
oil wealth, most countries in the Middle East are still developing
nations. We must move forward if we are to meet the needs
of our people – especially our youth. Like you, we seek
a path of growth, and like you, we are committed to reform
and innovation. We have made it a priority to pursue growth
policies, with major programs in education and training.
China is already playing
an important role, as model, supporter, and partner. Jordan
and its people are very grateful for the assistance and support
China has provided us through the past years. We also give
much importance to our trade and investment relations.
Just last month, Queen Rania
visited China to discuss common initiatives in education,
women’s empowerment, and health. More and more students
from Jordan are studying in China, and our scholars enjoy
meaningful exchanges. Cultural exchange is strengthening and
enriching our understanding of each other.
During the next two days
of my visit, Jordanian officials and business leaders will
sign with their Chinese counterparts in Beijing and Shanghai
agreements for cooperation that cover a variety of areas,
ranging from nuclear energy, to cultural and educational exchange,
especially between our universities. The China Development
Bank will establish an office in Jordan and the Jordan Investment
Board will also establish presence in China.
Historically, China led
the world’s economies. Experts tell us that, for almost
two thousand years, your country generated between a quarter
and a third of global GDP. The development challenges our
countries face now, are the legacy of only a few hundred years.
Today, we must remember that our path forward is not creating
a new reality – it is reasserting our peoples’
rightful role in global progress.
Next year the Olympics will
bring your country’s people and achievements before
the entire world. This extraordinary event is in keeping with
your country’s great past and growing international
I hope that our partnership
will grow as well. The Arab countries and China have a long
legacy of global leadership. I believe that working together
effectively; we can create a future worthy of this heritage
– one that will stretch from the Four Seas to the Red
Sea and beyond.
Thank you very much.