China says it will provide a number of Middle Eastern states with a package of $20 billion in loans and $106 million in financial assistance in an effort to revitalize economic growth in the region.
Addressing the 8th ministerial meeting of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the loans would fund a plan of “economic reconstruction” and “industrial revival” in the fields of oil and gas, nuclear and clean energy.
The loans would also be earmarked for “projects that will produce good employment opportunities and positive social impact in Arab states that have reconstruction needs,” he added.
The Chinese president further noted that his country would offer $15 million worth of aid to Palestine and an additional $91 million to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
Additionally, he said, a consortium of banks from China and Arab nations will be set up with a dedicated fund of $3 billion.
“Chinese and Arab peoples, though far apart in distance, are as close as family,” Xi said. “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.”
He also called on “relevant sides” to respect the international consensus regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and handle the issue in a just manner in order to avoid regional disruption.