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China, Jordan ties ‘solid’, further cooperation urged

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 09,2017 - Last updated at May 09,2017

Chinese Ambassador to Jordan Pan Weifang and Jordanian officials are seen during a seminar held by Al Rai Centre for Studies and the Chinese embassy in Amman on Monday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Jordanian-Chinese relationships are "solid", witnessing increasing improvement, and the doors remain open for further collaboration in various areas, Jordanian and Chinese officials said on Monday.

Jordan and China, which this year celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, are determined to explore further opportunities for collaboration and building partnerships that positively reflect on the two countries, they agreed.

"Jordanian-Chinese relations have been growing and witnessing improvements over the years and the room for increased cooperation is large," Chinese Ambassador to Jordan Pan Weifang said during a seminar marking the anniversary held by Al Rai Centre for Studies and the Chinese embassy in Amman.

Reviewing China's support to Jordan, the ambassador said his country has helped implement several projects that contributed to the development of the Kingdom in the fields of water, health, infrastructure and energy.

Weifang said a cultural centre to teach Chinese language and culture is under construction and announced a plan for a future Sino-Jordanian university.

"These are expected to play a key role in enhancing understanding and cooperation, especially between the youth in the two countries," the ambassador said.

The ambassador noted that China also provided aid to Jordan to help reduce the pressure due to the influx of Syrian refugees.

"Trade ties are witnessing key progress," he added.

China is Jordan's second largest trade partner, with bilateral trade exceeding $3.170 billion in 2016, the Chinese ambassador noted.

"China is the largest importer of potash from Jordan…China imports about 600,000 metric tonnes of potash from Jordan every year," Weifang stated.

The ambassador referred to the "One Belt, One Road" project, stressing that it can greatly contribute to the development of bilateral ties and the development process in Jordan.

The “One Belt, One Road” network, an initiative by the Chinese government, seeks to connect the Eurasian continent by land, sea, air and cyberspace. As of late 2016, China had built 46 overseas cooperation zones with 17 countries along the routes. 

The ambassador said there is a need for increased efforts by the Jordanian and Chinese parties to enhance cooperation in the areas of tourism, culture, health and youth, among others.

Maher Lukasha, director of the Asian Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed Jordan's keenness to boost cooperation with China in several areas.

"The existing cooperation between China and Jordan in political, social, cultural, economic and educational fields is huge," Lukasha said, highlighting that relations between the two countries witnessed a boost over the years.

There are discussions for further cooperation in several fields, the Jordanian official stated.

Lukasha added that Jordan was keen to remove any obstacles that may hinder the progress and advancement of Jordanian-Chinese ties.

Jordanian and Chinese experts speaking at the seminar highlighted that there was large scope for increased cooperation and advanced relationships in various areas.

 

 Khaled Shoqran, head of Al Rai Centre for Studies, reviewed areas of collaboration between the two sides, while stressing the importance of the seminar in providing a platform for the exchange of ideas on how to best advance bilateral cooperation. 

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