BEIJING CHINA: China will provide $ 20 billion to Arab states in loans for economic development, President Xi Jinping told top Arab officials today, as Beijing seeks to increase its influence in the Middle East and Africa.
The Money will be given for “Projects that will produce new employment opportunities and positive social impact on those countries which need reconstruction” said Xi, without providing further details.
Beijing is also prepared to provide another one billion yuan to countries in the region to “build capacity for stability maintenance,” Xi said, using a term commonly associated with policing and surveillance.
All this is a part of the special Chinese programme for “economic reconstruction” and “industrial revitalization” Xi told this to the participant of the China-Arab states forum in Beijing’s great hall of the people.
China has already provided a vast sum of money to many Arab states, with Djibouti alone has a debt of $ 1.3 billion as per the estimates based on the US-based China Africa research initiative.
Since Joining office, Xi made many efforts to expand Chinese influence over the Arab states and Africa, including the construction of countries first military base in Arab League state Djibouti.
Last Year Sri Lanka was unable to pay its Debts so it was to hand over the majority control of its Hambantota port to China.
At the heart of Xi’s vision is the “Belt and Road” initiative, a $1-trillion infrastructure program billed as a modern revival of the ancient Silk Road that once carried fabrics, spices and a wealth of other goods between Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
The Arab states’ position at the center of the ancient trade route makes them “natural partners” in China’s new undertaking, he said, adding he expected the summit would end with an agreement on cooperation on the initiative.
“China welcomes opportunities to participate in the development of ports and the construction of railway networks in Arab states” as part of a “logistics network connecting Central Asia with East Africa and the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean,” said Xi.