Chinese President Xi Jinping pushes trade over politics in Middle East
President Xi Jinping (習近平) is due to arrive in Iran today after outlining China’s policy in the Arab world as Beijing pursues a bigger diplomatic presence in the region.
Xi delivered a speech at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo, which groups 22 Arabic nations, on Thursday after a stop in Saudi Arabia.
He said China would set up a US$20 billion common investment fund with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and pledged 230 million yuan (HK$273.4 million) in humanitarian aid for Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, and Yemen. Beijing would also give US$300 million to boost China-Arab law enforcement cooperation, Xinhua reported.
Xi said development was the solution to easing unrest in the Middle East, and China did not seek to foster proxies or build a sphere of influence in the region.