RIYADH: China’s Sinopec, one of the world’s largest energy and chemical companies, has donated 2,000 books on Chinese culture to the King Fahd National Library in Riyadh.
The donation was marked on Wednesday at a ceremony attended by senior officials from both countries, including China’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Chen Weiqing, the Chinese envoy, inaugurated a Chinese book corner at the library in the presence of Dr. Mansour bin Abdullah Al-Zamil, the library secretary.
The section was established by Sinopec as part of its mission “to provide a window on China to Saudi citizens, to provide reference books to students, beneficiaries and graduates, and to provide support for teaching Chinese in the Kingdom,” according to a press release.
The Chinese envoy praised the “historic” bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and China, as well as the promotion of cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Al-Zamil said the opening of the Chinese book corner in the library is a “positive move” for continued Saudi-Chinese cultural collaboration.
He added that the Chinese books received by the library “have scientific value that will benefit beneficiaries and researchers, and contribute to enriching the library with reference works,” noting that the technical departments of the library have completed cataloging and the classification of books, which are ready for researchers.
“We want to strengthen cultural exchanges, transfers and cultural exchanges between the two countries,” he said.
The rest of the Chinese books will be released in installments, with the first batch including books in Arabic, English and Chinese dealing with economic, geographical and humanitarian topics. A series of Arabic and English books by Chinese President Xi Jinping will also be provided.
In a speech, Weiqing praised the legacy of King Fahd’s library and its “cultural, cognitive and scientific achievements”, applauding the efforts of the late Saudi King Fahd bin Abdulaziz to support relations between the “two great countries”.
Sinopec’s effort follows “what the Kingdom initiated in this regard” by opening a branch of the King Abdulaziz National Library in China as its first branch in Asia, Weiqing added.
The King Abdulaziz Library has opened a branch at Peking University in Beijing, China to “expose Chinese people to Saudi culture”.
The library is housed in a six-storey building located near the main entrance of the university on an area of 13,000 square meters.
King Salman attended the branch opening ceremony in March 2017.
“We view the Chinese Book Corner as a cultural collaboration that includes various books of scientific value that will benefit beneficiaries and researchers, as well as help enrich the National Library with reference books, as the technical departments involved in the library have cataloged, classified and made them suitable for researchers,” Al-Zamil said.
“We want to encourage cultural interaction, transfer and exchange of culture between the two countries,” he added, hailing China’s cultural heritage, which “is one step ahead of civilizations of the whole world”.
Li Xihong, former chief representative of Sinopec’s Middle East office, said the company has always attached great importance to cross-cultural exchanges in Chinese foreign cooperation projects and actively fulfilled its social responsibilities overseas. .
“Through the cooperation with the King Fahd National Library, we hope to promote cross-cultural exchanges and cooperation, and build a bridge to promote cultural exchanges between China and Saudi Arabia, and strengthen the friendship between the two peoples. “, did he declare.
Over the past 22 years of operation and development in Saudi Arabia, Sinopec has formed an integrated system of industrial chain services of oil and gas exploration, technology development and research.
Fahad Alarjani, board member and head of the entrepreneurship committee at the Saudi Chinese Business Council, said cultural activities promote community development and create vital markets for investors and entrepreneurs.
The events also facilitate understanding of markets and improve skills in an economic development ecosystem, he added. “This is what a unique exchange requires in the development of distinguished commercial relations between Saudi Arabia and China.”
Alarjani, a Ph.D. sustainable entrepreneurship researcher at Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, said the cultural sector is “one of the most important” in the future of knowledge-based economic exchanges between Saudi Arabia and China .
“This is demonstrated by the launch of several unique initiatives by the two countries over the past five years, focusing on the knowledge-based economic aspect to motivate young entrepreneurs to engage in innovative cultural and artistic experiences”, he added.
“Such initiatives will form integrations with other sectors, including tourism, and enhance the diversity of bilateral economic exchanges,” he added.