Tuesday, October 30, 2007

International Relations: Jordan urges China to exert influence in Middle East

Jordan’s King Abdullah has said China’s rising influence will bring it a growing diplomatic role in the Middle East, and encouraged Beijing to help foster peace between Israel and Palestinians.

Israeli and Palestinian officials are preparing for a US-sponsored peace conference later this year, and King Abdullah - among the regional leaders pressing for concrete progress at the meeting - said China’s status and friendly regional ties could help foster progress.
“China can play an important role in supporting this process both as a world power and respected and trusted Asian neighbour,” said the King, on a visit to mark 30 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“As a permanent member of the United Nations (Security Council) and a country that has good relations with all parties in our region, China’s role is, I believe, destined to increase in the coming period,” he said in a speech at Peking University.

The Middle East, including Iran, supplies China with about half of its crude imports. That figure will rise to about 70 percent by 2015, according to the International Energy Agency.