Jordan, China seal strategic cooperation agreement, includes $19M economic grant to Jordan
Jordan's King Abdullah is an honorary guest at the 2015 China-Arab States Expo (AFP/Lintao Zhang/Pool)
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His Majesty King Abdullah and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday held talks that focused on enhancing bilateral relations in different fields and the latest developments at the regional and international arenas.
During one-on-one discussions, followed by a broader meeting between the two sides, both leaders stressed the "solid" ties between Jordan and China and voiced their keenness on enhancing them at all levels, especially at the political, economic, military and commercial levels, according to a Royal Court statement.
King Abdullah described both countries' announcement to establish strategic partnership relations as a "new chapter" that would take bilateral ties to a new level of fruitful cooperation, especially in economic fields.
His Majesty noted that Jordan looks forward to an effective participation in the 2015 China-Arab States Expo currently hosted by China's Yinchuan city, where the Kingdom is participating as an honorary guest.
Talks also tackled the latest developments at the regional and international levels, especially efforts to combat terrorism and extremism through adopting a comprehensive approach that involves all relevant and effective parties, the statement added.
In this regard, Xi praised Jordan’s efforts in the war against terrorism and extremism, stressing his country’s willingness to help the Kingdom deal with the Syrian refugee crisis.
They also reviewed the latest developments in the Middle East, highlighting the need for a comprehensive political solution to the Syrian crisis conflict. In addition, they discussed endeavours to revive peace negotiations between the Palestinian-Israeli sides on the basis of the two-state solution.
At the end of the talks, a joint statement was issued between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the People’s Republic of China announcing the establishment of strategic partnership relations between both countries.
According to the statement, the King and Xi stressed the importance of carrying on with efforts to enhance friendship and cooperation ties between the two countries in a manner that would serve the interests of both peoples, as well as regional and world peace, stability and progress.
Establishing the strategic partnership ties, as agreed upon by both sides, require continued communication and coordination over bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest so as to enhance common values and trust between both countries, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
Other points the two sides agreed on include holding regular meetings between the Jordanian and Chinese foreign ministries at the level of leaders or high-ranking officials, intensifying communication between both countries’ governments and legislative institutions, and enhancing relations at local levels.
Jordan and China also agreed to mutually support their vital interests, with the Kingdom stressing its commitment to the “one China principle”, renewing its position on Taiwan as an integral part of the Chinese mainland and supporting “the Chinese government’s efforts to achieve peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait and its efforts to reunite the country”.
For its part, Beijing pledged to support Jordan to maintain its security and stability and enhance its economic and social development.
Jordan also highlighted the importance of the Chinese initiative to participate in building “the economic belt of the Silk Road” and “the naval silk road of the 21st century”.
The joint statement also called for enhancing cooperation in the fields of energy, investment and infrastructure projects, that include railways, roads, communications, electricity, oil and natural gas pipelines, water desalination, waste treatment, shale oil and nuclear and renewable energy projects.
In this regard, China will continue encouraging its companies to invest in Jordan, with the Kingdom pledging to facilitate the work of Chinese companies investing in the country.
The communiqué indicated that the two sides would be exchanging information regarding security, judiciary and law enforcement, in addition to exerting joint efforts to fight terrorism, organised crime and cross-border crimes.
Enhancing cooperation in the fields of culture, education, science, technology, media, tourism, health and sports, in addition to establishing higher education institutions in applied technology between the two countries were also highlighted in the joint statement.
Both sides also stressed the significance of joining efforts to preserve the UN Charter’s principles, respecting the sovereignty of countries, non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and solving conflicts between countries through dialogue, agreement and negotiations.
They also stressed their support to international efforts aimed at making essential reforms in the UN and UN Security Council to enhance their effectiveness and capability to address threats and challenges.
Following the discussions, King Abdullah and Xi attended the signing of a technical and economic cooperation grant agreement to provide Jordan with a 130 million Chinese yuan (around JD14 million), signed by Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury and Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng
In 2014, the trade volume between Jordan and China reached $3.6 billion and while the trade balance is tilted in favour of China, the country’s exports to China went up by 200 per cent from the previous year. These were mainly potash and phosphate, valued at around $300 million while the Kingdom’s imports from China stood at $3.3 billion.
Speaking to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Fakhoury said the summit meeting between King Abdullah and China’s president was the culmination of efforts by His Majesty over eight visits to China, which this time saw the signing of a joint statement on establishing strategic relations between the two countries.
He added that the first agreement which Jordan signed with China includes an additional grant to support Jordan and its development programme in light of the burdens borne by the Kingdom as a result of regional turbulence.
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