Yemeni Chinese Bilateral Ties Have Forever Been Dynamic And Vibrant
Yemen Observer: http://www.yobserver.com
Yemeni-Chinese bilateral ties have forever been
dynamic and vibrant
Posted in: Opinions
Written By: Dr. Eng. Mohammed Darsi Abdulrahman Nedham*
Article Date: May 14, 2005 - 2:12:38 PM
It is well-known that Yemen and China have always enjoyed a close relationship,
especially in the areas of trade and education. The history of this great economic and
political relationship goes back a long way, with sources mentioning a Chinese
presence in Yemen as early as the sixth century as they brought silk and pottery from
over land and sea, yet it has deepened even further
over the past five years.
During the tenth century Aden was an important
gateway to China. In the fifteenth century, Captain
Jenkh Kha visited Aden three times, and Yemeni
rulers also sent missionaries to China. The People's
Republic of China, founded on October 1, 1949, has
preserved the Yemeni-Chinese relationship. The
Yemeni-Chinese diplomatic relationship started in
On October 6, 1962, China recognized the Yemeni
Republican regime after the revolution on
September 26. The Chinese mission which was in Yemen before the revolution turned
into an embassy early the following year. China supported the Yemeni revolution
during the days of the blockade of Sana'a, declaring that the people and government
of China supported the people and government of Yemen, in their struggle to preserve
national sovereignty and independence. It is clear that this continuous development in
Yemen-China relations is due to Chinese policies.
As mentioned above, the Yemeni-Chinese diplomatic relationship started in 1956.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 49 years ago, the Yemeni-Chinese
relationship has developed smoothly.
Chinese workers in Yemen always receive a warm welcome everywhere they go by
the Yemeni people and authorities. In Sana'a, Aden or Taiz, in almost every Yemeni
market, you can buy something Chinese - cloth, rice, radios and cooking pots. In
recent years, our two countries have continuously strengthened mutual political trust,
gathered momentum in economic cooperation and trade, and witnessed rapid progress
in other fields such as international affairs.
So, if we are going to look deeply into Yemeni-Chinese relations, we find that
they rest on the following:
1. Mutual understanding.
2. A great reservoir of mutual goodwill.
3. Understanding across the whole range of issues - bilateral, regional and global.
1. The primary objectives of any visits from either side at a high political level are:
a. To further strengthen friendship.
b. To strengthen and expand trade and cooperation
c. To continue the process of ongoing consultations on matters of mutual interest
2. To discuss common perspectives and aspirations
3. To share views right across the board on issues which interest both sides.
What does China mean to Yemen and vice-versa? Based on my simple reading,
knowledge and research on the Yemeni-Chinese relationship, I found that
Yemen must look upon China in view of the following facts:
1. China now is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
2. China's development is one of the greatest success stories of our time.
3. China is on the rise because of her glaring success.
4. China has proved that she cannot be ignored by any developing country.
5. China is growing at a period when the world is attentive and watchful.
6. Momentum is on China's side and it would be a mistake not to embrace it.
7. China has adroitly used its resources and leadership to establish itself in the world
8. China recently became the number one consumer of world resources.
9. China's good public relations and expertise have endeared her to Arab nations,
10. China has no issues of conflict with Yemen.
11. There are lessons that Yemen really need to learn from China.
12. China is a true friend and always makes extra efforts for the poor because she was
once in the same situation
13. China is not the type of country that will take advantage of developing countries.
14. China has always been Yemen's best economic partner and hope to continue to be
for many years to come.
15. China's 1.3 billion people would be a good market for Yemeni products.
At the same time I believe that China should look upon Yemen in the light of the
1 Yemen has a great people, who work hard so and can learn quickly from the
2 Yemen has a wise leadership and a strong team of highly qualified specialists, who
are ready not just to open their hearts but also their minds to China, the Chinese and
the Chinese Scientific Revolution.
3 Yemen is a very important strategic location on the south-west corner of the Asian
continent, which is significant for China located on the south-east corner of the Asian
continent. If we looked at the Asian continent (or the Asian continents plus the
European continent) as a chess board, Yemen and China would be the castles on the
board, representing black and white, carrying significance not just for the two
countries but also the differing colors of the human race from time immemorial.
4 Yemen surprises the whole world with its hidden treasures, the same as China. They
both mean a lot to each other, human civilization and world history.
5 Yemen still has untapped resources, which makes it a place of interest for China as
a net importer of oil. It is known that during the last few years several indicators have
begun to show that China's oil strategy is moving in this direction. In recent years
(1993-1998) China's main oil import partners have been Oman, Yemen, Iran, Saudi
Arabia, Russia, Indonesia and Angola. Based on my doctoral research study on
Yemeni geology (See Chapter 1 of my study entitled, "A New View of Yemeni
Geology Based on a New Solution to the Most Chaotic Yemeni Geological Problems)
made in 2002 at Jilin University, China, I proved that China is the largest importer of
Yemeni crude oil. This is just one example of how Yemen can serve China and vice-
6 Yemen plays a unique and positive role in:
a. Resolving any Arabian conflicts through mediation.
b. Promoting the integration process.
c. Enhancing inter-Arab cooperation.
d. Facilitating the Yemen-Horn of African Countries dialogue and other regional and
For these reasons the Arab and Islamic World, China and the whole of international
society are highly appreciative of Yemen�s role and look forward to cooperating
The impact of relations with China will be extremely productive. We in Yemen are
ready to work with China, in the spirit of sincere friendship, reciprocity, mutual
support and orienting towards the future, to consolidate and deepen the mutually
beneficial cooperation in various fields and constantly push forward the China-Yemen
In recent years, under the leadership of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the government
and people of Yemen have been actively facilitating national reconciliation, making
efforts to maintain social stability, vigorously promoting social and economic reform,
and have made great progress in all undertakings. The aforementioned acts make all
leaders of the world look to Yemen with great respect.
Here, I would like to ask YOU (Yemeni Readers) the following questions:
1. Do you think Yemen can learn a lot from China?
2. Would you like to see Yemeni goods flood Chinese market in the near future?
3. Is it true that Yemen's political relationship with China is improving by the day?
4. Do you think further work on exchanging our highly-qualified young scientists and
experts with China is the best way to achieve cooperation in other fields?
5. What opportunities are there to develop and nurture our homegrown talent, based
on our relationship with China?
6. Do you think we should work together with China to promote our own industries?
7. Do you think bilateral ties with China could be a steppingstone for Yemen to
8. Do you think Yemen can learn from China about how to develop a self-sufficient
And at the same time, I would like also to ask YOU (Chinese Readers) the
1. Do you think China and Yemen could be a profitable union for both parties in the
2. Will China willingly teach Yemen the secrets of her success?
3. If Yemen is going to open up businesses in China, do you think many people will
buy Yemeni products?
4. Do you think Chinese leaders should encourage real Yemeni investments in China?
5. Do you think China should build a strong relationship with Yemen and all other
6. Do you think East or West Chinese products are the best?
7. When will Chinese citizens buy Yemeni goods?
Conclusions and Recommendations:
1. In my opinion, to improve our relationship with the Peoples Republic of China,
both governments should take the following steps:
a. Regularly and closely consult each other.
b. Concert on all major issues in international forums.
c. Work in total concert, so as to promote progress towards our common objectives.
d. Build a mutual relationship in the fields of science and technology, trade and
commerce, cultural, social, economic and political matters as well as academic
2. To activate the relationship between Yemen and China and the opposite, I would
like to invite all the heads of both government sides' local press, radio and television
channels to work with my following suggestion:
a. To organize an annual Yemeni-Chinese meeting every year held in alternate
b. To invite interested parties from both sides to join the meeting.
c. To organize a prize for the best paper, article or, suggestions and recommendations
to improve the relationship between our countries.
d. To publish a questionnaire on the Yemeni-Chinese Relationship in the Yemen
Observer newspaper and its equivalent in China for Yemeni and Chinese readers to
complete and return with added comments. The main aim of this is to be in touch with
the public in Yemen and China.
3. Both governments must work harder on improving technical, economic and
scientific cooperation through the following activities:
a. Exchange of personnel for training purposes (for example, in technical schools,
institutes, colleges, universities and other scientific research centers; factories and
other production centers, and the proffering of more grants for scholarships).
b. Exchange of expert knowledge (through visits and with a view to lecturing and
c. Exchange of technical documentation and necessary equipment (including the
exchange and giving of corresponding information).
d. Exchange of information, books and scientific publications.
e. Cooperation in scientific research work between scientific institutes and bodies.
f. Setting up of joint industrial ventures.
g. Cooperation of production enterprises in finding the most suitable technical
solution and attaining increased productivity.
h. Asking all organs appointed to cooperate technically, economically and
scientifically, to keep in touch with each other, here in Sana'a or in Beijing, on all
questions related to the realization of the approved programs of technical, economic
and scientific cooperation and direct their monthly and annual reports to their heads in
the competent authorities.
i. Review progress made to establish periodically the quality and amount of mutual
technical, economic and scientific cooperation.
4. At the same time we must:
a. Find a way to introduce Yemen Studies in China.
b. Create the opportunity to start parallel studies between Yemen and China, possibly
through a Yemen-China Center.
c. Work hard on making an effort to expand the academic exchanges at the private
d. Promote diplomatic relations and academic exchanges at both private level and
e. Build on the lesson of China�s scientific revolution and expand academic
exchanges with China through parallel studies.
Yemeni and Chinese leaders need to discuss the coming together of the two nations as
part of south west and south east Asian cooperation (in Sana'a or in Beijing rounds)
and focus especially on issues related to globalization and WTO negotiations to
safeguard human values.
In my opinion any economic dealings with China will be sincere and respectful. I
particularly admire the Chinese for their pride in the scientific revolution and their
drive for self-sufficiency. As a Yemeni, I would like to commend China on its
excellent work and endless efforts to return peace to Yemen and also for helping
many other countries improve their economy.
Finally I would like to reiterate that China is an important economic partner of Yemen
and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is a country which we
believe has a tremendous future to look forward to.
About the Author:
* Dr. Eng. Mohammed Darsi Abdulrahman Nedham is a specialist in Petroleum
Geology. Now he is a member of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) dealing
with Yemen Hunt Oil Company. He graduated from Jilin University, China in 2002 as
a Doctor of Science and began his professional career by working as a petroleum
engineer, geologist in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Board (Aden
Branch). His scientific interest centers on Geological Research History, Earth Science
software application and basin-modeling problems.
For more detailed information about the Yemeni-Chinese relationship, the following
bibliography and Web Site Sources are essential:
1 Daum, Warner. 1988. "From the Queen of Saba to a Modern State: 3000 Years of
Civilization in Southern Arabia." Yemen. Autria: Penguin.
2 Garbini, Giovanni. 1988. "Semitic and Indo-European Languages." Yemen: 3000
Years of Art and Civilisation in Arabia Felix. Austria: Penguin.
3 New Traveler's Guide to Yemen. 1987. Bhrain: Oriental Press.
4 Saint-Prot, Charles. _____. Happy Arabia: From Antiquity to Ali Abdullah Salih,
The Yemeni Unifier. _________Bissan.
5 Qafisheh, Hamdi A. 1990. Yemeni Arabic�T. Lebanon: Librairie Du Liban.
6 Yemen: Insight Guide. 1993. singapore: APA Publications Ltd.
9 Beijing http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/data/province/beijing.html>; Source: