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Tribune News Network
The Brookings Doha Center organised the second joint workshop with the Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences to discuss the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-MENA relations.
Titled ‘The Belt Road Initiative: China-Middle East Cooperation in an Age of Geopolitical Turbulence’, the workshop examined the global and regional context for cooperation considering heightened geopolitical turbulence and uncertain economic outlooks. More than 40 experts representing several distinguished international institutions convened at the two-day workshop held at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel.
The workshop commenced with opening remarks by Ambassador Khalid Ibrahim al Hamar, director of Asian Affairs Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador of China to Qatar HE Zhou Jian.
In his welcome address, Tarik Yousef said, “We highly value our partnership with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. This has been a very productive collaboration that is expanding, deepening, and this is allowing us all to better understand each other.”
Wang Jian, director of the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences, said, “We are delighted to participate in the second joint workshop with the Brookings Doha Center, after the success of the first workshop in Shanghai last year. This relationship is very valuable to us as we aim to expand our understanding of the development of relations between China and MENA countries.”
Throughout the six interactive sessions, participants offered their insight into a wide range of themes, which included: China’s role in MENA regional security, growth prospects of BRI cooperation, opportunities and risks in security cooperation, and the impact and limitations of China’s soft power in MENA countries.
The event was the second joint workshop between Brookings Doha Center and Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences since both sides signed a memorandum of understanding in April 2017. In January 2018, experts from both research centers convened in Shanghai for the inaugural joint workshop titled, ‘Belt and Road Initiative: Toward Greater Cooperation between China and the Middle East’.
The Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences was founded in 1958 and is China’s oldest and second largest institution for the humanities and social sciences. As a leading think-tank and distinguished academic institution in China, it has 17 institutes and 27 interdisciplinary centres that conduct studies in economics, finance and international relations, among other areas.
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