Strategic partnership pact signed (China Daily)

China and Jordan promise to work together on solving regional, international problems

China and Jordan established a strategic partnership on Wednesday, vowing to deepen cooperation on big projects in areas such as energy and infrastructure.

President Xi Jinping and King Abdullah II of Jordan signed a joint statement on the strategic partnership after meeting at the Great Hall of the People.

“This is an important milestone in bilateral relations,” Xi told the king at the start of their meeting. “Jordan is an important country in the Middle East, with special status and influence.”

“I’m fully optimistic about the prospects of our bilateral relationship. At the moment, both sides expect to raise the relationship to a higher level, and the conditions are right,” Xi said.

He said the two nations will support each other on issues of core interests and also will deepen coordination on major international and regional problems.

He promised to encourage Chinese investment in Jordan and support expanding imports from the country.

The king said his country expects to take part in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative to seek common prosperity. Trade between China and Jordan reached $3.6 billion in 2014. China is Jordan’s third-largest trading partner.

According to the statement, the two nations will also beef up cooperation in areas like seawater conversion, extracting oil and gas from shale, nuclear energy and renewable energy.

The king is heading a delegation to attend the China-Arab States Expo, which will be held on Sept 10 to 13 in Yinchuan, capital of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Jordan is the guest of honor of this round of the expo. The expo is a cooperation mechanism for the Belt and Road Initiative.

Jordan’s ambassador to China, Yahya Qaralleh, said ahead of the visit that Jordan’s unique location and its good relations with other nations will give it an “important role” in the initiatives.

He said Jordan is exploring the possibility of a series of major projects, such as an oil pipeline linking Jordan with Iraq, and a high-speed rail linking Jordan with neighboring nations that will reach southern Europe.

“That all can be part of China’s strategy of the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

“China’s relationship with Jordan has entered an era of maturity, which is reflected by the fact that the king of Jordan is the Arab state head who has made the most visits to China,” he said.

Mohammad Dawood, the president of the Jordan Truck Owners Association, said the initiatives are “a major project that will definitely strengthen ties between China and the Arab states”.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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(China Daily 09/10/2015 page3)

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