China informs Shafak News of the details of the work of its companies and the "Silk Road" in Iraq
Shafaq News / The Chinese ambassador to Iraq, "Cui Wei", affirmed on Wednesday his country's commitment to the fifth initiative for peaceful coexistence, including non-interference in Iraq's internal affairs, while noting that the "Chinese agreement" comes to enhance trade exchange between the two countries.
Wei said, in response to a question from Shafak News Agency correspondent, that "Iraq is for the people, and for any party or country in the world, to respect the choice of the Iraqi people," calling at the same time "the political parties and Iraqis, to find an appropriate solution to the current crisis."
The Chinese ambassador added: "Beijing trusts the wisdom of the political parties to resolve the crisis, noting that Iraq is one of the sources of the four ancient human civilizations."
He explained that "the Chinese-Iraqi agreement is to enhance cooperation and exchange between the two countries, including the project to build schools in Iraq, and that the embassy does not interfere with the work of projects, and there are more projects within the agreement between Iraq and China."
He continued, "Iraq is China's third largest trading partner in the West Asia and North Africa region, and is also China's largest supplier of crude oil," noting that "in 2021, the total volume of trade exchange between China and Iraq amounted to $37.3 billion, and institutions participated in And Chinese companies are building a lot of projects, including oil fields, power stations, airports and schools."
And Cui Wei said, "Chinese companies have made positive contributions towards the reconstruction of Iraq after the war, and Beijing will continue its cooperation with Baghdad to participate in building the Silk Road Belt."
Regarding the return of Iraqi students to China to complete their studies, the Chinese ambassador confirmed that the problem has been resolved, saying: "Iraqi students can now enter Chinese territory without having to re-apply for a visa."
The American newspaper "Washington Times" criticized Iraq's growing cooperation with China, warning that Beijing is using "soft power" to penetrate the Iraqi economy, especially in the oil sector, in the absence of American interest, taking advantage of its relationship with Iraqi "militias", and the atmosphere of corruption that exists in Country.
The Chinese agreement opened the door wide for Beijing to flow into the Iraqi economy sectors, a move that caused Western fears that Baghdad would become a hostage to the Chinese dragon, like many capitals of emerging Asian countries that have plunged into several economic crises because of their absolute dependence on Chinese investments.
Unlike the West, Beijing provides generous aid to Iraq without imposing political conditions on Iraqi leaders, such as achieving more democracy or pursuing structural reform policies for the local economy, so cooperation with China appears more attractive.
In October 2019, the former Prime Minister of Iraq, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, signed an agreement with China that activated the "oil for reconstruction" program, under which dozens of Chinese companies pledged to work in Iraqi infrastructure in exchange for Beijing receiving 100,000 barrels of oil per day.
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