潜旭明:“中阿能源合作与建立一体化经济伙伴关系的模式”,《Araa Magazine》
发布时间: 2020-09-04 浏览次数: 10

202091日,上外中东研究所潜旭明副研究员在Araa Magazine发表评论文章《中阿能源合作与建立一体化经济伙伴关系的模式》,英文版内容如下:

Building a pattern for Chinese-Arab energy cooperation and an integrated economic partnership

China and the Gulf region are at the east and west ends of Asia, respectively, and friendly exchanges between the two have a long history. In the new century, the relationship between China and the Gulf countries based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation has developed by leaps and bounds. China and the Gulf States carry out energy cooperation. They have made joint efforts to promote the oil and gas plus cooperation model and promote the two-wheel rotation of oil and gas cooperation and new energy cooperation. They both work on deepening cooperation in the entire industry chain of oil and gas exploration, mining, refining, storage and transportation. China continues to expand its investment in technology in the Gulf countries, and the two sides jointly build a China-Arab energy cooperation pattern featuring oil and gas traction, nuclear energy follow-up, and clean energy acceleration. Thus, they have formed an energy community with a shared future in the joint response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

1.Energy relations between China and Gulf countries

Gulf countries are rich in oil and gas resources, and their reserves are among the highest in the world. The main products of the Gulf countries are from the petroleum industry and the petrochemical industry. In contrast, their light and heavy industries are underdeveloped, and they have import agricultural machinery, industrial equipment, and construction materials for economic construction from other countries. With the rapid economic growth of China and its rapid development of manufacturing industry, for China, the demand for external markets and resources has become more urgent. China has become the world's largest energy consumer and the largest oil importer, providing a huge export market for the oil and petrochemical products of the GCC countries. China has signed agreements and contracts with Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates for long-term imports of crude oil.

China and the Gulf countries are highly complementary in economy. There has been a long history of economic and trade exchanges between the two, and they have achieved remarkable results in practical cooperation. The GCC countries mainly export oil and natural gas products to China. China mainly exports mechanical and electrical products and textile products to the GCC countries. Saudi Arabia is China's largest trading partner in the Gulf region and one of China's largest crude oil suppliers. Among the top ten suppliers of China's crude oil imports in 2017, five were the Gulf countries: Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait and the UAE. China's total imports of crude oil from the above five countries amounted to approximately 148.4648 million tons, accounting for approximately 35.3% of the total annual imports.

With the development of the “Belt and Road initiative”, China has further specified the direction of economic and trade cooperation under the background of the BRI to promote the construction of a “1+2+3” cooperation pattern, that is, a cooperation model that takes energy cooperation as the main axis, focuses on infrastructure construction and trade and investment facilitation as two wings, and regards the three high-tech areas of nuclear energy, space satellites, and new energy as the breakthroughs.

2.New developments in China-Gulf countries cooperation

Under the guidance of the 1+2+3 blueprint, China and Arab countries are actively docking the development strategies of both sides, giving full play to the advantages and potentials of both sides, and they have made positive progress in economic and trade practical cooperation, mainly involving infrastructure construction such as real estate construction, energy development, rail transit, telecommunications, ports and power station, as well as investment areas such as industrial manufacturing, finance, new energy, electronic technology, and so on.

The number of infrastructure construction projects of Chinese companies in the Gulf countries is considerable, involving multiple fields such as transportation, water conservancy, and electricity. The contractors of infrastructure cooperation projects are mainly state-owned enterprises, mainly in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. Examples include Saudi Arabia’s Yanbu Power Generation and Desalination Plant Project Phase III, Saudi Arabia’s Smart Grid; the UAE’s 32 boarding bridges construction project for international airports, and Hassyan 1,200 MW clean coal-fired power station; Kuwait’s municipal highway project, ring road reconstruction projects, RA/259 Road and Bridge Project, South Mutra Real Estate Project; Bahrain Airport New Terminal 25 Passenger Boarding Bridge Construction Project of Bahrain; Oman's Ebele and Suh Project, Duqum Port Commercial Terminal Construction Project and railway system construction projects.

China and the Gulf countries have reached many cooperation intentions in the high-tech field, and breakthroughs have been made in nuclear energy, aerospace satellites, and new energy. Moreover, China and the Arab states have broad prospects for cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. On the one hand, the Arab League countries have generally introduced nuclear power development plans. On the other hand, China can provide strong financial and technical support for the development of nuclear energy in the Arab League countries. At present, the cooperation between the two sides has been gradually implemented from the level of policy communication to specific large-scale projects. China has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Saudi Arabia as well as with other countries, and carried out research and training for decision makers of nuclear energy agencies for the Arab League countries.

With advanced aerospace technology, a complete scientific research system, and fully equipped industrial facilities, China is actively seeking to establish various forms of space cooperation with the Arab League. In May 2017, the first China-Arab Beidou Cooperation Forum was held in Shanghai, and the Statement of the First China-Arab Beidou Cooperation Forum was signed.  This is an important document of China-Arab cooperation and exchange in the field of satellite navigation. It will strengthen China-Arab satellite navigation exchanges and cooperation, drive the Beidou system to land in Arab League countries, and promote the Beidou system’s role in serving the economic and social development of Arab countries.

China has realized large-scale production in the field of new energy and has relatively sound technologies, which can have a good complementarity with the Arab League countries. The two sides have great potential for cooperation in the field of new energy. In recent years, there have been more and more frequent high-level meetings between China and the Arab states in the field of renewable energy and China has signed memorandums of cooperation with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait respectively.

China continues to expand its investment in technology in the Gulf countries, and a number of technology research and development centers have been established. In January 2015, Ningxia Province and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly established the China-Arab Science and Technology Transfer Center (CASTTC). Its main functions include collecting, sorting and publishing information on the technological needs of Arab League countries, opening up talks on technology needs and information matching between China and Arab countries, organizing the free flows of the technology sector of the expos between China and Arab States, and organizing training for China-Arab technology transfer, related technological, economic and trade cooperation, and technology research, and so on. The CASTTC will promote China-Arab cooperation in high-tech fields, and advance the transfer and exports of technology and equipment in areas such as China's high-speed rail, aerospace communications, nuclear energy, new energy, and modern agriculture. On this basis, China and Arab states will also implement the China-Arab Science and Technology Partnership Program to liaise and guide China and Arab League countries to carry out technological cooperation and technology transfer, and facilitate the establishment of bilateral technology transfer sub-centers between China and Arab League countries. In addition, in April 2015, Saudi Aramco established a research and development center in Beijing, dedicated to the research and development of advanced technologies and software related to the upstream oil and gas industry, involving the three major research fields of geophysics, geology and petroleum engineering. In January 2016, Sinopec's Middle East R&D Center laid a foundation in the Dhahran Technology Valley in Saudi Arabia, dedicated to upstream exploration and mining technology, and will introduce refining and chemical technology research in the medium and long term.

3.Prospects for the future cooperation between China and Gulf countries

In the future, China's Gulf countries will expand their economic and trade cooperation to multi-dimensional areas. The first is cooperation in traditional energy and new energy, such as oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, green and low-carbon energy, and so on, with the focus on energy+. The second is cooperation in the field of infrastructure, such as roads, ports, smart cities, industrial parks, and science and technology cities. China and Gulf countries have a wide range of infrastructure cooperation, such as the Oman Sohar Independent Power Station and Duqm Industrial Park, the second phase of Khalifa Port in the UAE, and the Jizan Agglomeration Area of China and Saudi Arabia.  The third is cooperation in high-tech fields, such as aerospace, biopharmaceuticals, new materials, Internet +, artificial intelligence, big data, e-commerce, joint laboratories, and so on. For instance, China and Saudi Arabia's joint lunar exploration and Mercury exploration cooperation plan reflect the continuation and expansion of China-Arab Aerial Silk Road. The fourth is cooperation in the financial sector, including the internationalization of the renminbi, such as China’s establishment of renminbi overseas clearing centers in the UAE and Qatar. China also encourages the collaboration among the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the “Silk Road Fund” and Gulf countries’ sovereign wealth funds; furthermore, Chinese state-owned banks also set up more branches in Arab countries. Looking forward to the future, in the process of the Belt and Road initiative, China-Arab cooperation will be broader and the results of cooperation will be featured with diversity.

来源:Araa Magazine


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