China to contribute to the rebuilding of Iraq
A senior Chinese delegation visiting Iraq recently expressed their country’s readiness to contribute to the rebuilding of areas destroyed during the war with the Islamic State.
China is one of Iraq’s largest trade partners, from which it imports many products including electronics and construction material. Early this week, a senior delegation from the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) arrived in Baghdad and met with a number of Iraqi officials.
A statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry affirmed the Chinese delegation met with the Undersecretary of Legal Affairs and Multilateral Relations, Hazem al-Yusufi.
“Iraq attaches great importance to the strengthening of relations with the Republic of China and the expansion of…ties in all its political, economic and security forms,” the statement quoted Yusufi as saying.
The Iraqi official called for “increasing China’s support for Iraq in the reconstruction of infrastructure through the expansion of investments between the two countries, as well as coordination in the area of security.”
The official statement added that the Chinese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Relations of the CPC Central Committee, Lee Joon, who said his country was ready to contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq.
The Chinese delegation also met with Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hassan al-Kaabi, who highlighted Iraq’s “historic” and “evolving” ties with China, according to a statement from his office, further adding that it is expected the two sides will sign agreements soon.
The volume of trade between the two countries exceeds 30 billion dollars annually, the statement claimed.
Kaabi called on Chinese companies to contribute to reconstruction projects and help develop Iraqi economic sectors, especially energy, oil, and electricity.
China is the largest importer of oil in the world, a major supplier of which is Iraq.
“It is our country’s duty to provide support to Iraq and to contribute to the reconstruction of cities liberated [from ISIS],” Lee said, according to Kaabi’s office.
Diplomatic relations between Iraq and China were established on Aug. 25, 1958. The relationship went relatively smoothly for decades but was complicated by the Gulf War in 1991 and then again during events leading up to the fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Relations stabilized in the years that followed and have continued to grow. Source