Morocco-China: Strategic Partnership Launched, No More Visa for Chinese Nationals

Morocco and China have signed on Wednesday a joint statement establishing strategic partnership between the two countries and King Mohammed VI who is on an official to Peking announced his decision to abolish visas for Chinese nationals as of June 2016.

The Moroccan King informed the Chinese President Xi Jinping of his decision during the meeting that gathered the two leaders at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, said Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar.

This decision confirms the sovereign’s vision and his commitment to deepen and diversify Moroccan-Chinese relations, the Foreign Minister said in a statement to the Moroccan news agency, MAP.

It also mirrors Morocco’s determination to intensify human, cultural, economic and political relations between the two long-time friends.

Talks between King Mohammed VI and the Chinese President were held in a friendly atmosphere, marked by commitment and sincerity, said Mezouar, adding that the two leaders voiced commitment to implement the just concluded strategic partnership they view as a milestone for the development of bilateral ties and for opening new cooperation prospects.

According to the Chinese news agency, Xinhua, King Mohammed VI hailed, during the joint statement signing ceremony, the traditional friendship binding the two countries and expressed conviction that this strategic partnership will inject new vitality into Moroccan-Chinese relations.

The Moroccan sovereign also underlined Morocco’s resolve to expand trade and infrastructure cooperation with China and to strengthen the two countries’ coordination on development issues and climate change.

President Xi Jinping on his part underlined the great importance China attaches to its relations with Morocco, and said his country will steadily support the Kingdom’s efforts to maintain national stability and promote social and economic development, Xinhua stated.

Under the joint statement establishing the strategic partnership, the two sides reaffirmed the principle of respecting all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, and vowed to support all sides’ efforts to maintain peace and stability in the regions they belong to.

They also called for peaceful solutions to international and regional crises and disputes; expressed opposition to interference in other’s internal affairs and to the use of force or threat by force; and condemned terrorism in all its forms, said Xinhua.

King Mohammed VI and President President Xi Jinping afterwards presided over the signing ceremony of fifteen agreements and memoranda of understanding covering cooperation in the judicial, economic, financial, industrial, and energy sectors, in addition to cooperation in the areas of defense industry, and the safety of imported and exported foodstuffs.

The Moroccan King’s visit to China, which is taking place two months after his trip to Russia, is part of the new diplomatic strategy adopted by Morocco to diversify and expand its partnerships.

In addition to strengthening its trade with China, Morocco seeks to have a share of the huge Chinese investments injected in the African continent. China, which is already engaged in major infrastructure projects in Africa and which vies stronger trade ties beyond its traditional market in Anglophone Africa, could take advantage of the presence of many Moroccan companies, mainly in French-speaking West African countries. These companies could serve as a platform at the service of a trilateral win-win development.

If anything, these goals reflect the two countries’ shared determination to contribute to Africa’s economic and social development and to upgrade South-South cooperation.

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