The document, released ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's first visit to Egypt, paints cooperation in broad strokes: neither does it provide detailed policy initiatives nor name specific Arab countries.
Really weird that China just released an "Arab policy paper." One policy for all "Arab" states? Huh?— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) 13 января 2016
The "1+2+3" formula views energy as the core element of bilateral cooperation. Developing Infrastructure, as well as promoting trade and investment is seen as the "two wings" of cooperation, while "3" refers to breakthrough areas, including nuclear energy and renewables, as well as space.
When it comes to energy relations between China and the Arab world, "the full truth is even more striking," The Diplomat pointed out. "Saudi Arabia alone is China's largest supplier of oil, and when you factor in Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates, the Arab world accounts for over 40 percent of China’s total oil imports."
The document also calls for greater security cooperation between China and the Arab world – an area, which has been largely absent in bilateral relations. In particular, Beijing indicated its willingness to take part in counterterrorism operations in the region.
"China is ready to strengthen anti-terrorism exchanges and cooperation with Arab countries to establish a long-term security cooperation mechanism, strengthen policy dialogue and intelligence information exchange, and carry out technical cooperation and personnel training to jointly address the threat of international and regional terrorism," the policy paper detailed.
The Diplomat maintains that China's contribution to counterterrorism efforts in the Middle East will be multilayered. It is likely to focus primarily on providing financial assistance and offering "capacity building support" to local armed forces than directly participating in military campaigns to tackle terrorism in the region.