|Ambassador Yue Xiaoyong Received Qatar Media Interview|
The outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Qatar, Yue Xiaoyong, yesterday stressed that great momentum has been achieved in Sino-Qatar relations with top leaders of both sides providing the guidance. Speaking to Gulf Times, Xiaoyong, who leaves Qatar tomorrow after serving his country in Doha for three years and three months, said relations between the two countries now encompass wide-ranging aspects. "Politically, economically, culturally, we can be good partners. We've laid a very good foundation here and I believe my successor can further expand and develop them across the board," the diplomat said.
Although the Chinese embassy in Qatar opened in 1988, it took a while for both countries to take it beyond the mission-level, as both assessed the nature of bilateral relationship.
"Dramatic growth in relations between the two countries began after Qatar's prime minister visited Beijing and held meetings with the Chinese president and prime minister. This paved the way for greater co-operation on the energy front in April 2008," the ambassador recalled.
Two months later, the Chinese Deputy Vice-President Xi Jing Ping visited Qatar. "Although more top-level meetings followed and continue to this day, these two visits have been the highlight of my tenure here. I feel meetings at the highest level give a true impetus to any relation, as leaders start to give direction that are to be followed," Xiaoyong said.
Qatar and China have also been engaged on the broader Arab and international fronts, as both countries' foreign policy is based on mutual respect, he added.
"Qatar has been a major contributor to the China Arab Co-operation Forum, so our relationship also contributes to the regional front," he explained.
In 2007, the trade volume between the two countries stood at $1bn. It has surged to $4bn in 2010.
Around 30 Chinese companies including Huwawei, Sino-Hydro and others are doing business in Qatar, with the volume of contracts won by them is over $3bn.
"In addition to energy, politics and economy, co-operation in other sectors such as finance is also growing. China's largest bank, ICPC as well as the Agricultural Bank of China recently helped Qatar Investment Authority in its initial public offering," he said.
"We have also signed a co-operation exchange programme for cultural exchanges and participate in Qatar's cultural activities, including this year's ongoing Doha – Capital of the Arab Culture 2010," he added.
According to Xiaoyong, more cultural performances are expected by Chinese performers in Doha before end 2010.
On the education front, Chinese teams have held talks with officials of Education City and the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
"Qatar has been a supporter of One China policy and shows appreciation for China's international role. Similarly, China appreciates the role Qatar plays through multi-lateral and international organisations," the ambassador said.
And although the current number of Chinese residents in Qatar is about 6,000, that number is slated to go up as more Chinese are keen on working abroad, the diplomat said.
Source: Gulf Times