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Wang Yi: China's Political Role in the Middle East Will only Be Enhanced
2014-01-09

Talking about how China will play a bigger political role in the Middle East during his recent exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that China's political role in the Middle East will only be enhanced.

Wang Yi remarked that China is always ready to have cooperation for mutual benefit with all countries in the Middle East, Arab countries in particular, not only in the economic field, but also in the political, security and military fields. Having said that, there is a need for prioritization with regard to arrangement, and a need for China to build up its capabilities for sustained expansion of such cooperation. It is true that China-Arab cooperation in recent years has mainly focused on the economic field. That is because China believes that development holds the key to and serves as the foundation for solving all problems. Any solution to hotspot and political issues hinges on economic growth and better life for the people. As far as Arab countries are concerned, the most crucial task facing them is national development and economic revitalization. China is ready to do what it can to provide help and assistance as it has done in the past. Moreover, since 2012, China has provided humanitarian assistance on six occasions to the Syrian people and Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.

Wang Yi stressed that China will play a role in the political field as well. China's political role in the Middle East will only be enhanced, not diminished. In 2013, China hosted the visits by leaders of Palestine and Israel at about the same time and the United Nations International Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace in Beijing. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the meeting held by the United Nations to mark the "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People". Wang said that he convened the Palestinian-Israeli peace symposium during his Middle East visit and invited persons of vision from both sides to the symposium. It was a platform for all to make their views heard, to seek more consensus, and to raise the voice for peace together. Wang believed that this was a useful endeavor, and if continued, the voice for peace will become louder and the forces for peace will grow stronger. All this will help to provide impetus to and exert positive influence on the negotiations between the two sides.

All in all, China's all-round role will gradually and more visibly be felt by Arab countries and get their understanding and support.

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