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China's Xi pledges billions in loans, aid to Arab nations

AP  |  Beijing 

China's pledged more than USD 23 billion in lines of credit, loans and humanitarian assistance to Arab countries today in a major push for influence in the region from which sources much of its needs.

Xi told participants in a conference of Arab leaders in that Syria, Yemen, and would receive USD 91 million in humanitarian assistance.

Another USD 151 million was earmarked for aid projects, with the remaining USD 23 billion designated for financial and economic cooperation, Xi said. No details were given about how or when the money would be dispersed.

"and Arab states must synergise our development strategies in pursuit of our respective dream of rejuvenation," Xi said.

has expanded its influence among Arab states both for economic purposes and to counter the influence of and

was China's second-largest source of and was its third biggest supplier at the start of 2018. The is also a key node in China's "Belt and Road" initiative that envisages linking to other parts of Asia, and via a network of ports, railways, economic development zones and power plants.

China "supports the construction of a future connecting Central with east and the with the Mediterranean," Xi told the conference.

Politically, China has sought a role as an intermediary between and the Palestinians and provided diplomatic cover for Syrian in the country's seven-year civil war.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 14:45 IST