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President Xi Takes New Silk Road to Iran and Saudi Arabia

Jan. 14, 2016 (EIRNS)—In a rather unprecedented move, Chinese President Xi Jinping will travel to Iran and Saudi Arabia at a time of growing tensions between these two nations. This is a direct intervention into the Mideast political situation, in which China has often been reticent to become too deeply involved. Yet China recently sent an envoy, Zhang Ming, to mediate in the conflict. Xi is also scheduled to visit Egypt between Jan. 20 and 22.

The Belt and Road will be topping the agenda of the President as he travels through this crucial region, Guo Xiangang, vice president of the China Institute of International Studies, told Xinhua. While the visits have not yet been officially announced by the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry did release yesterday its first Arab Policy Paper on the nature and significance of China’s relations with the Arab countries on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their relations with the Arab nations. China traditionally has close relations also with Iran, which is its primary source of oil.