Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, received today at his residence in Beijing the co-chairmen of the Saudi-Chinese Friendship Society, Chi Hu Ye Young and Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy. Attending the reception were members of the delegation accompanying him on his current four-day state visit to the People's Republic of China.
On the occasion, the Crown Prince remarked: "There is no doubt that the great Chinese people and their history have a place in the hearts of the people of Saudi Arabia." Referring to the long discussion he had last night with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji on political and economic affairs, the Crown Prince said: "There have never been differences between the two sides on political issues." Concerning economic cooperation, he said: "I had an impression of truth and openness during my talks with the Chinese Premier." He urged the members of the Society to push ahead with economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries, and wished them every success.
The Crown Prince went on to remark: "There is a sensitive issue, namely peace in the Middle East. As is well known, the Arabs desire peace at this time because they are now fully prepared for this goal, but regrettably Israel does not - and I do not say it is the Jewish people but their present Prime Minister who is showing arrogance in this context." Crown Prince Abdullah went on to say: "I believe that those who are wise among the Jews realize the need for peace in the region, which is not a goal just for the Arabs but also for Israel to live in peace and tranquillity. This is what I wish to clarify before our brothers."
Turning to the issue of terrorism, which is in fact rejected by the Islamic faith, Crown Prince Abdullah said: "I wish to make it clear that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Islam punishes terrorists in the toughest manner. Yet certain media representatives mix Islam with terrorism. It should never be dealt with in this way. There are people who may claim that they are Muslims, but their practices and acts show that they are not. A Muslim will never commit an evil act." He continued: "I hope this message will go to every newsman in the world and that they will be able to distinguish between terrorism and Islam. This is my hope, because it affects the hearts of all Muslims. I wish all success to the co-chairmen and members of the Saudi-Chinese Friendship Society. I also wish for lasting peace around the world, especially in the Middle East, because wars will lead to destruction and peace is the only thing desired by Islam and Muslims as it is by every wise person."
It was later announced that Crown Prince Abdullah had made, as a gift to help in the service of Muslims in the Republic of China, a personal donation of U.S. $ 500,000 to the Chinese Islamic Society and the Islamic College in Beijing, which he toured today.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf met today with the Chinese Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, Sun Qua Nekh Jiang, with whom he discussed trade cooperation and prospects of investments between the Kingdom and China as well as the upcoming meeting of the Joint Saudi-Chinese Commission.