China would like to resume and promote oil cooperation with Iraq based on equal and mutual benefit, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang on Thursday.
"Chinese companies had contracts on some projects like oil exploration and construction before the war in Iraq," Qin said in response to a question on whether the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Shahristani was visiting China.
Qin said the Foreign Ministry had no information about the Iraqi minister's China visit.
"Current Sino-Iraqi cooperation simply focuses on oil trade and training programs due to the U.S.-led war in Iraq which broke out in March 2003," Qin said
According to Hussein Shahristani, the country's daily oil production had reached 2.5 million barrels, returning to the level prior to the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.
"China is willing to resume and promote oil cooperation with Iraq based on equally mutual benefits," Qin said, adding that the country's interests and rights should be safeguarded and protected in Iraq.
China, the world's second largest energy consumer and producer, imported 136 million tons of petroleum last year, accounting for six percent of the total world trade volume of crude oil that year.