Qatari Ambassador to China hails reform and opening-up

 Qatari Ambassador to China hails reform and opening-up


Qatari Ambassador to China Sultan S.Almansouri Photo: Li Hao/ GT

Editor's Note:
China and Qatar have enjoyed excellent relations for 30 years. The two countries have maintained high-level exchanges, especially in the recent years. On the occasion of the National Day of the State of Qatar and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and China, Global Times (GT) reporter Wang Bozun sat for an interview with Qatari Ambassador to China Sultan S.Almansouri (Almansouri) to discuss Sino-Qatari relations and cooperation.

GT: Qatari Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visited China on December 12. Did something important come out of his trip?

Almansouri: The vice premier participated in the first strategic dialogue between Qatar and China. He came with a very high-level delegation from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Tourism Authority and the Culture Ministry.

We achieved so much in various aspects of partnership between the two countries, in the political field, in commerce and investment, energy, security and exchange of information and counterterrorism. 

GT: As a veteran of China-Qatar ties, how do you see the improving relations between the two countries? What joint efforts do you think can the two sides make to further deepen ties? 

Almansouri: For the last 30 years, we have achieved a lot in bilateral relations between the two nations.

There is a lot of understanding between the two sides on all aspects. This success is due to the leadership of the two countries which have moved together in one direction. I think that's what has made it easier to communicate. 

We are happy to see the strategic partnership between Qatar and China has reached this stage. Obviously, ambitions are always higher than achievements. We are looking forward to the next stage —more enhanced and developed relations that broaden the strategic partnership to different aspects. We know Qatar is a very small country, but I believe we need China and China needs us, too.


Qatari Ambassador to China Sultan S.Almansouri delivers a speech during a ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of theestablishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and China, and Qatar National Day, in Beijing on December 13. Photo: Li Hao/GT

GT: In terms of people-to-people exchanges, which fields in China are Qataris interested in?

Almansouri: There are a lot of things in China Qataris are very interested in. Culture and heritage are the most important for them. Qataris are really fond of exploring other cultures and other nations' customs. 

Since China is one of the leading countries in terms of commerce and industry, it's very tempting for Qataris to come to shop and find what they need in China.

GT: Qatar announced it will leave OPEC. What prompted Qatar to make this decision? In your opinion, how could this affect the cooperation in energy between China and Qatar?

Almansouri: From my side it's not going to affect anything. Qatar's withdrawal from OPEC is based on technical reasons, and it is not related to anything else.

 Qatar is the country with the lowest oil-production in that organization. And it also has LNG. So, Qatar Petroleum has decided to focus more on LNG and gas. 

We provide China with LNG not oil. I think Qatar pulling out of OPEC will not affect anything, not even OPEC itself.

GT: This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up. In your view, what does the reform and opening-up mean to the world?

Almansouri: I think it means everything. When you're open to the world, you have a better understanding of it, and the world would understand China better as well. This is the right way.

Since the last forty years, China has been going in the right direction of reforming and opening up to the whole world. I think this is very beneficial, because when you open up to the world, the world will also open up to you and come closer, which will enhance understanding. This is the important factor. 

A lot of people thought China was like a box, nobody knew what was inside. But now that China has been open to the whole world, everybody can see what China is from inside rather than looking at it from outside.

 GT: China is larger than Qatar, but Qatar’s per capita GDP is much higher than that of China. What can Qatar suggest to improve China's per capita GDP?                                                              

Almansouri: Investment. I think if you have assets but no other resources, you can utilize your investment in that. 

 I think China is improving and has set a very good example. Growth rate is the highest in the world and has been sustained for the last ten years. 

I think we should learn from China how it has maintained such a sustainably high growth rate, while other countries have struggled with growth that fluctuated from time to time. I think China has been very successful in this respect.