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Pathways To Peace

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China and Bahrain will work collaboratively to foster peace in the Middle East, stated the Chinese Ambassador to Bahrain, Ni Ruchi. The diplomat also reiterated the joint efforts of both nations in calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

“The two countries jointly condemn the attacks on the Gaza Strip and express a common stance on stopping the war, which poses a very serious humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” stated Ambassador Ni Ruchi.

The envoy was responding to Bahrain This Week at a press conference held at the Chinese Embassy in Seef, briefing on the outcomes of His Majesty’s visit to China.

The ambassador also reflected on the 33rd summit held in Bahrain on May 16, which, he said, echoed the Arab world’s unified voice on the Palestinian issue, noting China’s active participation in the summit.

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“China supports the Arab countries on the Palestinian issue,” he remarked, praising Bahrain’s efforts in hosting the summit and supporting the kingdom’s initiative to hold a larger-scale International Peace Summit.

Highlighting the recent state visit of His Majesty King Hamad to China as a pivotal moment, Ambassador Ni Ruchi lauded the opening ceremony of the transmissible meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum, which His Majesty attended. “China and Bahrain would like to work together to make more contributions to peace in this region,” affirmed the ambassador, signalling a commitment to continued cooperation and dialogue for the advancement of peace and stability.

At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa paid a state visit to China from May 29 to 31 and attended the opening ceremony of the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum. This visit was very successful and marked a milestone in China-Bahrain relations. During the visit, President Xi Jinping held a grand welcoming ceremony and banquet for His Majesty King, and the two leaders had comprehensive and in-depth bilateral talks. They agreed to elevate China-Bahrain relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which is the most significant political outcome of the visit. The two leaders also witnessed the signing of eight cooperation agreements (11 documents in total; the other three were not witnessed). In addition, the Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Zhao Leji also met with King Hamad separately, exchanging views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues and reaching many consensuses. His Majesty King, as the rotating chairman of the Arab League Summit, attended the opening ceremony of the 10th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum and delivered a speech.

“This year marks the 35th anniversary of China-Bahrain diplomatic relations. After 11 years since King’s first visit, this visit can be described as timely, fruitful, and received an enthusiastic response, opening a new chapter in the relations between the two countries,” said the envoy at the press conference.

He noted that the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Bahrain marks a historic peak and a future direction for their bilateral relations, positioning them at the forefront of China’s expanding ties with Arab nations.

China and Bahrain reaffirm their mutual support on core interests, with China backing Bahrain’s sovereignty and Bahrain adhering to the one-China principle, both committing to deepen exchanges and strengthen political trust, highlighted the senior diplomat.

He cited that China and Bahrain are intensifying their economic partnership, aligning development strategies, and signing eight bilateral agreements, signaling a robust future for cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative. He also added that China and Bahrain reinforce their commitment to regional peace and stability, sharing a stance on the Palestinian issue and pledging to enhance cooperation through various summits to foster a harmonious China-Arab community.

The ambassador pointed out that the inaugural Gulf Air flight from Shanghai to Bahrain, fully booked with eager Chinese visitors, and the Bahraini flag on Beijing’s streets during the historic visit symbolise the deepening cultural ties and growing curiosity between the two nations.

“Our cultural and people-to-people exchanges become closer and more in-depth,” he said.
“On the day King Hamad arrived in China on May 29, the first flight of Gulf Air from Shanghai to Bahrain arrived successfully, with the tickets being fully booked. Over 90 per cent of passengers are Chinese, and most of them are visiting Bahrain for the first time, showing their strong interests in the beautiful and inclusive “Pearl of the Gulf.” The national flag of Bahrain flying on Beijing’s Chang’an Street has also aroused people’s interest and curiosity for this distant and mysterious Gulf country. I believe that with the strong foundation of cultural exchanges between the two countries and the assistance of direct flights, the cultural, artistic, tourism, and youth exchanges between us will become more frequent.”

The Ministerial Meeting, following the first China-Arab States Summit, marked a significant step in strengthening the China-Arab community, with President Xi Jinping proposing ‘five cooperation frameworks’ and announcing the second Summit for 2026. The Beijing Declaration and a 2024–2026 action plan were adopted, emphasising enhanced cooperation across various sectors and showcasing deepening China-Arab relations. Secondly, China and Arab countries have spoken out for justice. The meeting adopted a China-Arab states joint statement on the Palestinian issue, with the first article condemning Israel’s continued violations against the Palestinian people, expressing deep concerns about the humanitarian crisis caused by the Gaza conflict, emphasizing the firm position and important consensus of both sides on promoting a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in Gaza, ensuring humanitarian relief, opposing the forceful displacement of Palestinians, supporting Palestine’s accession to full membership in the United Nations, and advancing the early resolution of the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution.

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