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China pledges help to stabilise the Middle East

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ColtCarbine, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    China pledges help to stabilise the Middle East

    From Richard Beeston in Riyadh

    PRESIDENT Hu Jintao signalled yesterday that Beijing would play a greater role in the affairs of the Middle East when he paid a historic visit to Saudi Arabia, the main supplier of oil for China’s growing economy.
    In an address to the Shura council, Saudi Arabia’s appointed legislature, the Chinese leader promised to work with Riyadh and other Arab governments on securing peace in the region.

    “The Middle East is a vital region and there will be no achievements and development in the world without a stable Middle East,” said Mr Hu, only the second foreign leader invited to address the assembly.

    “Under these current circumstances, China is ready to work with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to support peace and growth in the Middle East and build a harmonious world that enjoys constant peace and prosperity.”

    Although he did not offer any specifics, Mr Hu’s remarks were seen as a direct challenge to the United States, which for the past half century has dominated security and diplomacy in the region.

    China’s ruling Communist Party was at one time regarded by the deeply conservative Islamic Saudi regime as godless and untrustworthy; but the countries formed diplomatic relations in 1990 and recently have grown closer out of economic and political necessity.

    Saudi Arabia wants to expand its global relations, once dominated by its strategic partnership with the US but strained after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the subsequent invasion of Iraq.

    China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer after the US, needs to build strong ties with its main supplier, which last year provided 17.5 per cent of the country’s oil needs.

    Mr Hu’s visit comes only three months after King Abdullah led a commercial delegation to Beijing. On the return visit this weekend the two sides signed security, defence, health and trade agreements.

    The countries also have a shared disdain for Western meddling in their internal affairs, particularly criticism over their human rights records.

    The Chinese leader told his hosts that the West should not “hurl false accusations against the internal affairs of other countries, let alone blame a specific civilisation, people or religion for causing problems and conflicts in the world”. He received a standing ovation.

  2. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

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