China wants to strengthen military cooperation with Arab countries.

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China’s Ministry of National Defense said that strengthening military cooperation would help build a “China-Arab community with a shared future.”

“The Chinese military is ready to cooperate with the militaries of Arab countries to promote global security initiatives jointly,” said Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei on December 29 in response to a question from the media. About the proposals, President Xi Jinping made during his visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

Tan described the Chinese and Arab militaries as “an important force in maintaining world peace and stability,” noting that Beijing and regional powers have shared technology. Military and held joint exercises in recent years.

“This ‘fruitful’ cooperation has helped build bilateral strategic trust between China and Arab countries,” Tan added. “Strengthening military cooperation will help build a China-Arab community with a shared future.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Saudi Arabia on December 7-10. When he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on December 8 and signed cooperation agreements, Xi said this was a milestone in bilateral relations. 

Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized that Xi’s trip to the Middle East was China’s largest and highest-level diplomatic activity with the Arab world since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Areas of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and China have dramatically expanded over the past decade. China has long provided Saudi Arabia with some technology and military hardware, mainly equipment that the United States has refused to sell for fear of sparking an arms race.

However, Riyadh still depends on US weapons platforms, such as the THAAD missile defense system, the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank, or the multi-role battleship.

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