Six in 10 Arabs, mainly from Qatar and Egypt, believed that China will play a crucial role in building the Arab region, according to a recent poll jointly conducted by the Global Times Research Centre and School of Arabic Studies of Beijing Foreign Language Studies University.

More than 60 percent of Chinese respondents see Arab states supporting and benefiting from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the report said.

Over 71 percent of Arab respondents expected deeper relations with China in the future, with 43 percent anticipating expanded collaboration and 28.2 percent believing Arab countries need China’s help and cooperation in regional and global issues.

Nearly 44.5 percent of Arab respondents anticipated economic collaboration with China.

In addition, Arabs are interested in bilateral educational cooperation programmes, with 79.1 percent of Arab respondents interested in studying in China or participating in language and other programs provided by Confucius Institutes.

The poll was based on 5,100 responses across China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan and Algeria from November 8 to 25.

China was ranked as a top ally by young Arabs, followed by Turkey and Russia, a September 2022 report by Zawya Projects BRI said, quoting the findings of Arab Youth Survey 2022.

Last week, Saudi Arabia and China had signed 35 investment agreements worth about $30 billion, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Kingdom.

(Writing by D Madhura; Editing by Anoop Menon)