trib logo

Made in Dubai? Xi’s grand vision for Gulf Arab industrial partnership

Xi Jinping does the walk at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.
FPI / June 6, 2024


Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has called for the establishment of a massive industrial center in the Gulf that could produce practically anything for the global market.

"We are ready to establish with the Arab side an industry and investment cooperation forum," Xi said, adding it would "continue to expand the China-Arab states interbank association and implement at a faster pace the cooperation projects that are financed by the special loans in support of industrialization in the Middle East as well as by the credit line for China-Arab financial cooperation."

That grand vision was unveiled at the China-GCC Countries Forum on Industrial and Investment Cooperation, a two-day parley in Xiamen, China in late May.

“The Chinese would build, operate and maintain the facilities while the Gulf rulers invest the tens of billions of dollars that will make them tied at the hip to Beijing,” independent journalist Steve Rodan noted in a June 1 analysis.

The discussion went well beyond buying and selling. It called for a partnership in which China would control key manufacturing throughout the Middle East and South Asia.

"The strong economic complementarity between China and GCC countries will further solidify their natural partnership,” said Zhao Chenxin, deputy head of China's National Development and Reform Commission.

Less than a week after the forum, the dynamics of Chinese-Gulf cooperation were outlined by none other than Xi at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing.

Xi’s brief address “spoke volumes of what Beijing wanted from the GCC,” Rodan noted.

Xi didn't begin with energy, but rather a joint industrial base for global trade.

"China will build with the Arab side 10 joint laboratories in such areas as life and health, AI [artificial intelligence], green and low-carbon development, modern agriculture, and space and information technology," Xi said. "We will enhance cooperation on AI to make it empower the real economy and to promote a broad-based global governance system on AI."

Rodan noted that “there are two key reasons the GCC is cooperating with China's grand vision. The first is security — pure and simple. The more the Chinese are entwined with Gulf Arabs, the more cautious Iran will be.”

Full Report . . . . Current Edition . . . . Subscription Information

Free Press International
chigulfsum by is licensed under Screen Grab Xinhua

Get latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

This website uses essential cookies for site operation. We would also like to set optional cookies to help us improve our site and to analyze web traffic, as described in the Privacy Compliance. You may accept or reject the use of optional cookies by clicking the Accept or Reject button.