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Chinese president to visit Middle East for regional peace

By Zou Luxiao (People's Daily Online)    09:09, January 17, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping will kick off his state visits to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran. Xi’s visit, in spite of the unprecedented undulation in Middle East, will inject confidence into peace and development of the region, said a commentary under the byline of Zhong Sheng in the People's Daily.

As his first overseas visit in 2016, Xi’s Middle East trip, especially amid the high tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, will last from January 19 to 23.

Saudi Arabia is China’s largest trading partner and crude oil supplier in the area of West Asia and Africa; Egypt is the first Arab and African country that established diplomatic ties with China whereas Iran is a major Middle East nation with strategic significance, said the article on the linkage between China and the three nations.

As developing nations standing at crucial development stages, both China and Arab states are now striving for national rejuvenation and prosperity, the commentary added.

In order to cement cooperation with Arab states, President Xi proposed to establish a "1+2+3" pattern on Sino-Arab cooperation with energy as the core in 2014. Infrastructure, trade and new tech industries were also identified as major cooperation areas.

China depicted the future of bilateral ties in a new era by releasing a first Arab policy paper recently in commemorating the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

The paper defined the bilateral relations as strategic partnership featuring comprehensive cooperation and common development. It also drew a roadmap for cooperation in politics, economy, trade, social development, cultural exchanges, peace and security.

Middle East is witnessing an unprecedented undulation as it now needs to restructure political landscape, transform economy and society and re-balance the geo-political forces.

Amid such historical moment, China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has played a constructive role in settling hot issues without interfering domestic affairs of regional countries, said in the commentary.

“China played its due role as a responsible major power,” the article added.

After China initiated to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, Middle East countries, many of which situated in the routes, echoed China’s proposal in a positive way.

The win-win cooperation will not only boost economic cooperation and reinforce risk-resistance capability, but also contribute to peace and development of Middle East, the article concluded.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wang Ao,Bianji)

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