The pandemic has strengthened ties between China and Qatar, Beijing’s ambassador to Doha said on Tuesday.
Ties between China and Qatar have improved especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese Ambassador to Doha Zhou Jian said on Tuesday.
“Cooperation between China and Qatar made progress despite the pandemic. The two countries signed a contract for building LNG ships, which will further expand Qatar’s LNG fleet,” Jian said at an event celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China in Doha.
The event, hosted at the Chinese embassy in the Qatari capital, was attended by several representatives, including the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim bin Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, the Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ibrahim Yousuf Abdullah Fakhroo and the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and the Ambassador of Eritrea to Qatar Ali Ibrahim Ahmed.
The ambassador also announced the opening of a Chinese Cultural Centre in Doha by the end of this year or early next year.
“We are in the final stage and we are discussing the details of the cooperation agreement. Hopefully it will be set up by the end of this year or by early next year,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chinese official said the Qatari government, along with local corporations, has donated 300 tonnes of medical supplies, including surgical masks and disinfectants to China throughout the pandemic for free.
“Chinese companies in Qatar donated one million pairs of surgical gloves and 7,000 sets of protective gowns, contributing to Qatar’s triumph over the epidemic,” said the ambassador. “Both China and Qatar have actively participated in international cooperation. Together we support the WHO in playing a lead role in the global fight against COVID-19.”
In response to queries regarding the development of the long-awaited vaccine, the ambassador stated that it will be made a global public good once it is available.
“This will be China’s contribution to the accessibility and affordability of the vaccine in developing countries,” he added.
Relations between Qatar and China have remained intact in recent years, despite the illegal land, aid and sea blockade imposed by neighbouring countries. The Asian nation has played a major role in several fields in the gas-rich Gulf state.
The China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd worked on the construction of the Lusail Stadium, where some of the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments are scheduled to take place.
Qatar also adopted China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region’s green, intelligent and water-saving technology, contributing to the country’s sustainable development.