Qatar- China Relations

Qatar China relations between 2014 and 2017

The Qatar China relations are now at absolutely prime time whereas the two countries cooperate strategically in the domain of energy and political coordination in such fields as the Darfur Issue in western Sudan and the Palestine Issue. We generally think that Qatar China relations have experienced three main stages: the first from July 1988 beginning of diplomatic ties between the two countries till 1999 when His Highness Father Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani (Allah bless him) visited the People’s Republic of China. The two countries in the first stage tried to figure out cooperation potential and opportunities in different sectors, especially energy and petrochemicals and specialized delegations in energy and trade visited each country. The second stage was inaugurated by visit of His Highness the Father Emir (Allah bless him) to China with a new concept toward Asia. The visit laid a strong foundation for bilateral relations whereas the two countries signed many agreements covering economic, political, cultural and other kinds of cooperation. The third stage, maybe the most significant phase in history of bilateral relations, began in November, 2014, when His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani the Beloved Emir (Allah bless him) visited China. The bilateral relations thus entered a new era embarking on strategic partnership in a joint declaration amidst domestic, regional and international attention. The visit achieved huge successes by signing the following agreements:

  1. MOU about Qatar Chinese cooperation in promoting the road & belt program between Qatar foreign ministry and National Development and Reform Commission in China.
  2. First action plan in education and research for the agreement on educational and cultural cooperation between the Qatari and Chinese governments.
  3. MOU between Qatari Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China about strengthening cooperation in financial services between the Qataris and Chinese governments.
  4. Signing of swap agreement for the Chinese currency between the Qatari Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China.
  5. MOU between the Qatari Central Bank and the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
  6. MOU about sports between the Qatari ministry of sports and youth and the Chinese State Physical Culture Administration.

On another hand, the two countries signed several agreements between 1999 and 2013, for example:

  1. Agreement on cultural and educational cooperation (April, 1999)
  1. Agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion (1999), which is now under negotiation for adjustment.
  2. Agreement on trade and economy cooperation (1999)
  3. MOU on fortifying consultation between the two foreign ministries (1999)
  4. Agreement on exchange news and information between the Qatar News Agency and the Xinhua News Agency (October, 2000)
  5. Agreement on opening General Qatari Consul in Hong Kong Special Administrative Zone.
  6. Agreement on opening General Qatari Consul in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, whose authorities cover such provinces as Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian and Hainan.
  7. Agreement on cooperation in woman and family related affairs between the Qatari Supreme Council for Family Affairs and  All-China Women's Federation 2001.
  8. Framework agreement on cooperation in the sector of energy between the two countries (2008).
  9. Signing of two agreements with CNOOC and CNPC on exporting 5 million tons of natural gas to China between 2011 and 2012.

Chinse foreign minister Wang Yi visited Qatar officially and attended the 7th ministerial session for the Arab Sino Cooperation Forum 2016/ 5/11–12. Chinese deputy chairman of the standing committee of the National People’s Congress Alecken Eminbahe visited Qatar as well.

In addition to these visits and agreements, the bilateral relations developed obviously in four new domains:

Economic and financial cooperation

Bilateral trade scale jumped from 5.8 billion dollars 2011 to 10 billion dollars 2014. In spite of slowdowns of economic growth in China and worldly, the volume of trade between the two countries remains promising in the future. Qatar is among the most import LNG providers for China with a portion between 30 and 40 percent to China’s total amount of imported natural gas and we will try to still raise this ratio in the future.

Qatar initiated the first clearing house for the Chinese currency in the Middle East in April, 2015. That was a vital achievement in bilateral economic and financial cooperation. The clearing house provides clearing service via the Chinese currency, which contributes to expanding available opportunities to widen trade and investment ties between the two countries. His Excellency Sheikh Abdallah bin Saud Al Thani described opening of the clearing house as a significant turning point in bilateral economic and trade ties, adding that the Qatar chamber of trade and industry holding the exhibition of “made in China” proved once again Qatar’s true keenness on promoting trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.    

Agreement on Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Qatar signed 2014/10/23 the preliminary MOU on joining the bank and then took a more decisive step in the same direction by signing the fundamental agreement for the significant financial institution 2015/6/29, which made Qatar a founding member in the bank. Many countries originally rejecting the idea eventually joined in the bank including some western European countries.

Cooperation between Qatar and rich Chinese regions

The Qatar embassy’s concept about stretching bridges for economic, investment and trade cooperation between Qatar and rich Chinese regions began to work two years ago for it’s well known that some rich Chinese regions amount to economy and resources scale in a medium country. The bilateral cooperation in this aspect advances smoothly.  

Building economic and trade partnership between Qatar chamber of trade and industries and its Chinese counterparts

This has been among the significant achievements during the past two years, for we see the importance of building partnership between the Qatar chamber of trade and industries and its Chinese counterparts. In fact several agreements were signed between us and similar Chinese chambers in some regions and cities. We are ready to further animate economic and investment cooperation between the two countries’ private sectors.

The culture year of 2016 and inauguration of pearl exhibition

Organizing of the “Culture Year of Qatar and China in 2016” has been the most important cultural activity in history of the two counties whereas the most prominent links were “Exhibition of Chinese Treasures in Doha” and “Exhibition of Pearls: Treasures of Seas and Rivers in Beijing”.      

Opening of General Qatari Consulate in Guangzhou

Because of the country’s vastness and potentials of cooperation, we have long been evaluating the presence of consular representatives in Guangdong Province and Shanghai Municipality. The year of 2015 witnessed opening of general consulate in Guangzhou.  

As for communication, we mentioned previously thatQatar News Agency cooperated with Chinese Xinhua News Agency since 2000 whereas managers of the two agencies paid mutual visits. The general manager of Qatar News Agency His Excellency Mr. Ahamad Saad Albuainain visited Beijing 2016/9/26 and met his counterpart Cai Mingzhao general manager of Xinhua News Agency. The two sides agreed to fortify ties and find new cooperation opportunities.