The coming week will see the visit of Vice-Premier of China’s State Council, Zhang Gaoli, to the Sudan, a land mark in an ever developing relation between Khartoum and Beijing.
The visit, in which the Chinese official is leading a high powered delegation, including the Deputy Foreign Minister, the Deputy Finance Minister, and the Deputy Minister for Trade and other officials, will focus on trade, commerce and economic ties between the two countries, according to the official Sudan News Agency SUNA.
The visit to Khartoum is part of a tour in which the Chinese the Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli flies to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Namibia from Aug. 21 to 29.
In recent months many a Chinese delegation visited the Sudan, which is reciprocated by many Sudanese officials and employees paying visits to China for training and for exchange of experience and but also get a first hand information and knowledge about huge stride made by China in different arenas.
It all reflects the ever growing ties between the two nations. This is a relation, as underlined by officials on both sides, based on mutual respect and non intervention in the domestic affairs of the other, between china and the Sudan.
But it is noticeable that many Sudanese people's delegations, from all walks of life and through the generous invitation of the Chinese institutions- offering Sudanese people a chance to get a first hand feeler about huge strides in development in China- have been to China. One such a visit was conducted by a group of journalists. Our colleagues Zakaria and Faiz brief us on that their experience there:
China as we have seen it:
History Embraces Brilliant Technological Development
By: Zakaria Abdelnaeem & Fayez Elzaki
Beijing, China (SUDANOW)- For many years China has worked to utilize the technological developments for development purposes and has managed to become one of the pioneering countries in field of E-government, E-commerce, smart cities and other relevant domains, where its ancient history embraces a brilliant present technological development to mingle with a brighter future.
Today the world is facing new challenges whose scene is the open space where computer crimes or cyber-crimes, have become serious threats to national security of countries and communities.
A group of journalists have recently had the opportunity to take part in a seminar on “Internet Media Communication for Officials of Countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (West Asia)”, sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and the Cyberspace Administration of China, and organized by the Training Center of Cyberspace Administration of China, from 17th April to 30th April, 2017 in the Chinese capital of Beijing.
Chinese specialists and experts presented rich and informative lectures reflecting China’s experience in field of internet media, namely media convergence, China’s diversified cultures and China’s efforts towards making the cyberspace a common space for all mankind.
Our visits to giant Chinese media institutions such as the CNTV, China Radio International, China daily and others have proved the advanced strides made by China in this connection.
China’s experience indeed constitutes a lighthouse that can guide the world towards a harmonious global cyber community instead of abuse of information technology, eavesdropping campaigns, information hackers’ attacks and arms race within the cyberspace.
Our disturbed world of today needs to implement the vision of the Chinese President Xi Jinping relating to setting up global cyberspace laws to be accepted by all, consensus on international agreements for international cooperation against cyber terrorism, enhancing a cooperative mechanism to combat cybercrime, joint support for cyberspace peace and security and building a cyberspace governance system that involves all parties.
The Seminar also reviewed the Road and Belt Initiative, proposed by China’s President Xi Jinping in 2013, embodying the ancient Silk Road Spirit of “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit” and citing its Five Principles of: mutual respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, mutual noninterference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
Prof. Dr. Wang Yiwei, Director of Institute of International Affairs, Renmin University of China, presented a detailed lecture during the seminar on the Belt and Road Initiative.
He said the Belt and Road Initiative aims mainly to promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African continents and their adjacent seas, establish and strengthen partnerships among the countries along the Belt and Road, set up all-dimensional, multi-tiered and composite connectivity networks, and realize diversified, independent, balanced and sustainable development in these countries.
The initiative is basically a network of railroads, highways, gas and oil pipelines, and ports across Asia and beyond.
Itcomprises two economic chains: a land route, stretching across Western China, Central Asia, and into Europe, as well as a maritime route, which flows along China’s eastern coast, threads through Southeast Asia, then turns to Africa and wraps up in Europe.
China & Sudan:
China maintains distinguished and deeply-rooted ties with Sudan. Observers also indicated that the two have maintained outstanding cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields, not to mention the friendly ties between the two countries’ peoples.
The diplomatic ties between Sudan and China were established on Jan. 4, 1959. This was followed by first protocol for commercial exchange between the two countries signed in 1962.
China is Sudan's biggest trade partner; Sudan, in turn, ranks third among China's African economic partners.
China-Sudan cooperation in the oil field is being cited as a model of south-south win-win cooperation.
Further, in 2015, President Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed a strategic partnership deal in the Chinese capital Beijing to bolster and enhance bilateral ties in all fields.
China & Arab World:
China is considered the second biggest commercial partner for the Arab countries, while the Arab States represent the biggest source of crude oil for China, where in 2016 the size of the Sino-Arab trade reached 171.14 billion U.S Dollars with the value of the contracts signed by the two sides same year amounting to 40.37 billion dollars.
China maintains a great history of economic cooperation with the Arab countries based on the ancient “Silk Road”, which constituted a lifeline for the region extending from the Mediterranean Sea and way down to China Sea, where the Silk Road worked to bring the cultures of this Asian land closer and make it a global economic route for over 2000 years and until now.
In confirmation to specialty of its ties with the Arab countries, the Chinese government issued its Arab Policy Paper, the first of its kind, early 2016. It reviews the historical bonds linking China and Arab countries, policies and fields and horizons of common cooperation.
The document reiterates that China sees the Arab states as important partners in the pursuit of peaceful development, in boosting cooperation among developing countries and establishing a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation at its core.
China further added a new mechanism to enhance its economic cooperation ties with the Arab States represented in “China-Arab States Expo.”
The third China-Arab States Expo is set to be held in Yinchuan, capital city of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region from Sept. 6 to 9, 2017.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, and the government of Ningxia, the event would focus on trade of commodities and services, as well as cooperation on technology, investment and tourism. It targets Arab countries and those in Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Northeast Asia and Africa along the Belt and Road Initiative with the aim to be an open and cooperative platform to push forward the initiative.
Because of the Belt and Road Initiative and China-Arab States Expo, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region has become a front face for China’s openness towards the world, taking the initiative in economic cooperation with the Arab world and other countries of Muslim majorities.
Ningxia’s strong cooperation ties with the Arab States has not been confined to economic field alone, but have also extended to cover the cultural domains.
The House of Wisdom, Culture and Media Foundation (Beit Al-Hikma) was established in Ningxia, China, to boost the cultural interaction between China and the Arab countries, mainly through translation of prominent Arabic and Chinese literary and cultural works into Arabic, Chinese and other languages and publish them different means including digital platforms.
Ningxia’s Shapotou Tourist Zone:
As part of the seminar’s accompanying programs, we had the opportunity to visit Shapotou, atop desert safari destination in China that is located in Zhongwei, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.
In Shapotou, which was built in 1984 to protect plants and animals of Tengri Desert in northern China, one can enjoy many lifetime adventures such as sand skiing, camel ridding, or experiencing a 4WD desert adventure.
Another tourist attraction in Shapotou is a ride on a sheepskin raft, an ancient river crossing tool, across the Yellow River which is situated below Shapotou, and if one has enough courage, he or she can have an amazing adventure in reaching the other side of the Yellow River by cableway.
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is populated by around 6.5 million; of whom one third are Hui minority people who constitute around 2.5 million of the region’s total population. The dominant Hui Muslim minority group lives together with the Han and other groups in a fascinating harmony, where their different cultures and religions merged to form a distinguished model of peaceful co-existence.
All in all, the seminar was a great opportunity for the participants to get a first hand information and to know the friendly Chinese people, their rich and diversified cultures and to get acquainted with China’s sincere efforts to develop its cooperation ties with the world generally and the Arab States in particular together with its rapidly growing progress in all fields, namely the technological one.