Morocco, China Building Strategic Partnership
Despite the huge geographic distance existing between Rabat and Beijing, the two capitals have decided to overcome this obstacle by setting out a strategic partnership model thanks to a proactive royal diplomacy and vision regarding China as a world economic power.
China has big dreams. Morocco too aims high. Sensing the need for more partners and diversified markets as the North African Kingdom is becoming also a regional player and growing power in Africa.
After reaching out to Russia and the Gulf countries, Morocco now looks forward to developing relations with China. The visit King Mohammed VI pays to Beijing starting this May 11th perfectly illustrates the country’s new strategic vision and foreign policy, spearheaded by the Sovereign.
“Though it remains committed to its strategic relations with its allies, Morocco has, in recent months, sought to diversify its partnerships at political, strategic and economic levels”, said king Mohammed VI in his historic speech during the first Morocco-GCC summit held in Riyadh on April 20.
“My successful visit to Russia, last month, is part of that process. It has made it possible to turn Moroccan-Russian relations into an in-depth strategic partnership, and a number of major agreements have been signed in several crucial areas,” said the Monarch.
“We are also looking forward, in Morocco, to launching a strategic partnership with India, and also with the People’s Republic of China, to which I will soon be paying an official visit”, added King Mohammed VI.
According to French expert in international relations Charles Saint-Prot, King Mohammed VI trip to China clearly shows Morocco’s new foreign policy led by King Mohammed VI who has fully perceived the geopolitical developments of the modern world which has become more multipolar.
Morocco adapts quickly to new realities on the international scene to preserve its national interests, deploying a subtle diplomacy which is more diversified and more balanced, said Professor Saint Prot.
During the latest vote by the UN Security Council on Sahara, China has adopted a positive stand. Beijing had also refused to allow the secessionist Polisario to participate in the China-Africa Cooperation Forum held last year in Johannesburg.
The African continent is the new Eldorado of the Chinese firms offering win-win cooperation. For Chinese leaders, Africa is a continent embedded with huge business opportunities to be grasped responsibly. They injected billions of dollars in investments and by year 2020, Chinese trade with Africa is expected to soar to $400 billion and direct investment in the continent to $100 billion.
China wants a free trade agreement with Morocco. It regards the Kingdom as a gateway to Africa and southern Europe. Chinese telecom giant Huawei is planning to install its new regional headquarters for the French-speaking Africa in Casablanca, a move which shows interest of Chinese companies in Morocco, a regional player and vital hub in triangular cooperation.