DOHA: The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and Memorandums of Understanding. The Emir is on an official visit to China.
Among them, China’s central bank has signed a 35bn yuan ($5.7bn) currency swap deal with its Qatari counterpart, in a step towards expanding use of the Chinese yuan in a region long dominated by the US dollar.
The deal is expected to allow the two central banks to swap currencies if needed to ease trade and investment. Qatari investment institutions will now also get the right to invest up to 30bn yuan in mainland Chinese securities, including stocks, bonds and bills, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement yesterday, reports Reuters.
The investment scheme, known as the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII), was created in 2011 to let financial investors place some of their yuan holdings in China.
The Emir and Xi Jinping presided over official talks held at the People’s Palace in Beijing yesterday. The two sides exchanged views on bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields as well as international and regional issues of common concern.
The two sides reached a wide scope agreement. They agreed to issue a joint communique on the establishment of strategic partnership relations between the two countries, QNA reported.
The communique said the two countries’ leaderships unanimously agreed that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on July 9, 1988, relations made wide strides as mutual political trust has been enhanced continuously and cooperation in economic, trade, energy, human and cultural exchanges have achieved fruitful results with cooperation between the two sides.
In line with the realistic needs for developing the Qatari-Chinese relations and the common desire of both sides to further develop bilateral relations to a new level, the two sides decided to establish strategic partnership relations, which will focus on the common interest of the two countries and serve the common development and common prosperity of the two countries.
Within this framework, both sides feel the need to give priority to cooperation in the following areas: 1. Enhancement of the ongoing high-level consultation between the leaderships of the two countries to maintain the ongoing contacts on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern, in order to continue the expansion of the common denominators and strengthen and deepen the political mutual trust.
2. Provision of support to the other side on issues concerning independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries. Qatar reiterated its commitment to the One-China policy, while China supports the sovereignty of Qatar over its territory.
Both sides stressed the need for commitment to non-intervention in internal affairs and praised the position of each side.
3. The full exploitation of advantages of economic and trade integration to develop economic and trade relations, boost mutual investments, expand cooperation for mutual benefit in the fields of basic infrastructure, industries and advanced technology, including transport, roads and bridges, railways, communications, national companies, and transfer of advanced technology.
4. Establishment of long-term and comprehensive cooperation in the field of energy and alternative energy and promotion of cooperation in the field of production and processing of oil and natural gas, including the LNG and petrochemicals sector and encouragement of government bodies and institutions to sign and implement cooperation agreements in the area of energy supplies and investment in relevant projects.
5. Expansion of cooperation in the areas of finance, including banks and financial markets, encouragement of both sides’ banks to open branches in the other side, strengthening coordination on regulating the banking and financial markets sectors and contacts among concerned personnel and their training.
6. Strengthening contacts and cooperation in the fields of law enforcement, security and fight against terrorism, establishment of long-term security cooperation mechanism to boost the exchange of intelligence and information, technical cooperation and personnel training.
Both sides condemned and rejected terrorism in all its forms, rejected double standards and the linking of terrorism to a certain country, race or religion.
7. Strengthening cooperation in the fields of military industry and trade, technology, equipment, training, and maintaining contacts between military institutes and colleges.
8. Work on human and cultural contacts and promotion of cooperation in the fields of culture, education, health, scientific research, tourism, media, youth, sport, social development and to promote understanding and friendship.
Both sides supported activities and events under the Qatar-China 2016 Cultural Year. Qatar also supported China’s hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics .
9. The importance of strengthening collective cooperation, stressing that the rapid establishment of a free trade zone between China and the GCC under the current circumstances benefits common interests, and both sides are willing to make efforts to resume negotiations on a free trade zone and reach an agreement to achieve mutual gains to enhance GCC-China relations.
10. Both sides stressed the importance of the establishment of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road in the 21st century. The Chinese side welcomed Qatar’s participation to build the belt and the road for mutual benefit and common gains.
11. Both sides supported the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Qatar, as a founding member, will participate effectively in the process.
Both sides pledged to intensify cooperation and make efforts with concerned parties to establish Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank soon.
12. Strengthening consultation and coordination on the situation in West Asia and North Africa, and supporting states and peoples of the region to explore developments that suit their national conditions on their free will and solve issues through dialogue, negotiations and peaceful means to achieve stability and development.
Qatar values China’s positions and its role in the region’s affairs. The Chinese side supports the positive role played by Qatar in the region’s affairs.
Earlier, the Emir was accorded an official welcome ceremony upon arrival.