People attend the seventh China-Arab Energy Cooperation Conference in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan province, Sept 19, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
HAIKOU - A delegation of diplomatic envoys from 20 Arab countries on Thursday concluded a four-day visit to South China's Hainan province, hailing China's achievements in free trade port construction, tropical agriculture, space technology, and ecological civilization.
The delegation, who also attended the first China-Arab Youth Development Forum held Thursday in Haikou, the capital of Hainan province, expects deepened cooperation between China and Arab countries in more fields like the environment, agriculture, and exchanges between the young people.
After visiting Damao village in Sanya, a rural destination famous for ecotourism, Assem Hanafi, Ambassador of Egypt to China, who visited Hainan for the first time, was impressed with the rapid and sustainable development.
"We are very impressed with the pace of development that took place and the sustainable development because this development has not been at the expense of nature. So nature and culture and local crafts have been preserved and developed along with tourism," he said.
Hanafi saw broad prospects for collaboration in tourism between the two countries.
He (Fariz Mehdawi, Palestinian Ambassador to China) suggested high-quality educational institutions in Arab countries set up branches in Hainan, and events like the China-Arab Youth Development Forum should continue to be held
"We depend on cultural relics and also on beaches. So there are many areas we can collaborate on between Egypt and China and between Cairo authorities and authorities here in Hainan," he said.
Lebanese Ambassador to China Milia Jabbour was particularly struck by the harmony between development projects and nature in Hainan.
"We can learn a lot from this experience about ecotourism," Jabbour said. "It's like the project and nature is one, so synchronized without damaging the nature and the eco-environment in which the project is," Jabbour said, hoping to explore collaboration in ecotourism and renewable energy with China.
During the visit to a date palm plantation in Wenchang City, the envoys were impressed by the agricultural development, particularly regarding introducing foreign plant species and utilizing advanced Chinese technological know-how.
In 2019, China and the United Arab Emirates reached a consensus that the UAE would donate 100,000 date palm trees to China. In December 2021, the first batch of 1,500 date palm saplings was officially handed over in Wenchang, and planting tests were carried out at the Coconut Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences.
A participant (right) learns about a wind power generation project at the sixth China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Sept 22, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
"I think the future looks extremely good. The quality of fruits and the yield will be impressive," said Sudanese Ambassador to China Omer Mohamed Ahmed Siddig.
Siddig added that many Chinese experts work in Sudan, and Chinese experts conduct lots of developmental projects there.
Hanafi highlighted the agricultural collaboration between Egyptian and Chinese experts, particularly in date plantations. "Egypt is the number one producer of dates in the world, so this has great potential for agricultural exchanges," he said.
Fariz Mehdawi, Palestinian Ambassador to China, said Hainan boasts a pleasant climate, developed tropical agriculture, and abundant water resources, as well as an open attitude and a large number of young talents, which have laid a good foundation for further deepening cooperation between Hainan and Arab countries.
He suggested high-quality educational institutions in Arab countries set up branches in Hainan, and events like the China-Arab Youth Development Forum should continue to be held.
Arab countries also have rich tourism resources, and the tourism cooperation between the two sides has great potential, according to Mehdawi. He believed the people-to-people exchanges between the two sides could ensure a long-lasting partnership.
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