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China’s Tech Surge: Redefining Influence in the Arab World

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China’s strategic use of technology to strengthen its influence in the Arab world is reshaping geopolitical dynamics. With over 200 major projects positively impacting nearly 2 billion people, China and Arab nations are deepening their partnership through technological advancements and cooperation. This article explores the key initiatives and their implications for the future of China-Arab relations.

Major Technological Initiatives

Five Cooperation Frameworks

China recently proposed “five cooperation frameworks” aimed at building a China-Arab community with a shared future. Key initiatives include:

Space Debris Observation Center: Enhancing space cooperation and safety.

BeiDou Application and Development Center: Promoting the use of China’s satellite navigation system.

Manned Space Mission Collaboration: Joint efforts in space exploration.

Passenger Aircraft Cooperation: Advancing aviation technology.

AI and Innovation Cooperation: Expanding AI applications to boost the real economy and promote global AI governance.

AI, 5G, and Virtual Reality

At the 2019 China-Arab States Expo, cutting-edge technologies like AI, 5G, and virtual reality were highlighted. The event showcased China’s commitment to fostering innovation and technological collaboration with Arab countries. Notably, CNKI, an online academic library, has built a big data platform to facilitate Belt and Road tech cooperation, serving institutions, enterprises, and governments across 23 countries.

High-Profile Projects and Collaborations

Lusail Stadium, Qatar

The Lusail Stadium, the main venue for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, exemplifies China’s engineering prowess. Constructed by China Railway Construction Corporation, the stadium hosted the World Cup final and is featured on Qatar’s 10-riyal banknote. With a capacity of 80,000, it is the world’s largest and most advanced professional football stadium built to FIFA standards.

Space Cooperation

China is actively pursuing space cooperation with Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries. A notable partnership with Saudi Arabia resulted in the sharing of scientific data and joint lunar exploration efforts. The China-Arab States BDS/GNSS Center, inaugurated in Tunisia, marks the first overseas center for China’s Beidou Navigation Satellite System, further extending space collaboration to more Arab states.

Health and Vaccine Collaboration

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) played a crucial role in the clinical trial of China’s Sinopharm vaccine and later established localized production lines. This collaboration highlights the depth of China-UAE ties and their joint commitment to global health initiatives.

Renewable Energy Projects

China is also making significant strides in renewable energy projects in the Arab world. In Qatar, Chinese companies built 15 super-large water storage tanks and the 800-megawatt Al Kharsaah solar power plant, contributing to Qatar’s renewable energy goals and supporting a “green World Cup.”

LNG Deal with Qatar

In a landmark agreement, Chinese energy giant Sinopec and QatarEnergy signed a 27-year LNG deal. This long-term partnership will provide 4 million tonnes of LNG annually to Sinopec, helping China meet its natural gas demand and optimize its energy structure.

 

Strategic Declarations and Future Plans

Beijing Declaration and CASCF Execution Plan

At the 10th ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in Beijing, China and Arab states adopted several strategic documents:

Beijing Declaration: Reaffirms mutual support on core interests and outlines shared positions on regional issues, global governance, AI, and climate change.

CASCF Execution Plan (2024-2026): Charts a course for strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation in infrastructure, resources, environment, cultural exchange, aerospace, education, and health.

 

China’s use of technology

China’s use of technology to grow its influence in the Arab world is multifaceted and impactful. From space exploration and AI advancements to renewable energy projects and health collaborations, China is cementing its role as a key partner in the region. These initiatives not only enhance China-Arab relations but also contribute to the broader goal of building a shared future through technological innovation and cooperation.

By strategically leveraging its technological capabilities, China is not only boosting economic and trade ties with Arab nations but also positioning itself as a pivotal player in shaping the future of global governance and regional development.

Wasim Qadri
Wasim Qadrihttp://wasimqadriblog.wordpress.com/
Islamabad based Senior Journalist, TV Show Host, Media Trainer, can be follow on twitter @jaranwaliya

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