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China and Iraq are vigorously strengthening relations to inject fresh vitality into their cooperation

Iraq and China enjoy long-standing historical communications and well-established friendship. The ancient Chinese civilization and the Mesopotamian civilization came across each other and got acquainted with each other via the ancient Silk Road, with lots of stories about friendly exchanges between the two countries recorded in historical documents. Bilateral relations have maintained sound development with friendly exchanges at all levels since the countries established diplomatic relations in 1958.In December 2015, China and Iraq established a strategic partnership.

For more than a century, the Communist Party of China has united and led the Chinese people in working tirelessly to make earth-shaking changes to the nation, with extraordinary historic achievements in economic, social, technological and cultural development that attract worldwide attention.

In uniting and leading the Chinese people in the tenacious struggle, the CPC, always with foresight and sagacity, has been paying high attention to following the tide of the times. Following an arduous journey through hardships and adversity, China has made the historic achievement of eliminating absolute poverty and building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Today, China is dedicated to promoting high-quality economic growth to allow all people to benefit more fairly and thoroughly from the fruits of growth and to fulfill Chinese people’s aspirations for a better life.

China and other developing nations share vast common interests and have a solid foundation for further boosting cooperation. When handling its relations with the Middle Eastern countries, China has always attached great significance to regional security and stability. As a friendly partner of the Middle Eastern countries, China has been supporting regional countries in solving their security issues with solidarity and collaboration, and in independently exploring their own development paths in accordance with their national conditions. China has been carrying out cooperation with the Middle Eastern countries in various fields including infrastructure construction, science and technology, economy and trade and striving for common development. Furthermore, China has been vigorously assisting African countries’ development, setting a good example for international cooperation with Africa.

China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, in an attempt to inherit and carry forward the Silk Road spirit and to bestow new connotations of the times to the ancient Silk Road. In jointly building the Belt and Road, China has enhanced connectivity, strengthened trade cooperation, promoted cultural exchanges, and realized mutual benefit and win-win results with the countries and regions along the routes of the Belt and Road.

Iraq was one of the first Arab states to take part in the joint building of the Belt and Road, with the two countries signing a memorandum of understanding on the joint promotion of the Belt and Road construction in 2015. Iraq is currently facing the pressing task of rebuilding its economy, and boosting cooperation in the joint construction of the Belt and Road is of great significance to the country’s development. In recent years, China and Iraq have vigorously promoted cooperation in jointly building the Belt and Road, injecting fresh vitality into their bilateral relations.

On top of that, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has selflessly shared the experience of its own fight against the virus with the rest of the world, dispatched teams of medical experts to assist other countries’ pandemic response, provided a large number of medical supplies for other countries, and strengthened international cooperation in the health sector, practicing the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind with concrete actions. Iraq and China have profoundly strengthened cooperation in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, with China providing Iraq with multiple batches of anti-pandemic supplies and dispatching medical experts to the nation. Furthermore, China has assisted Iraq in building a nucleic acid testing laboratory, notably enhancing the nation’s testing capability.

Looking ahead, Iraq and China should elevate bilateral relations to a higher level and constantly unleash the potential of cooperation. Iraq welcomes the Chinese side to take part in its economic reconstruction and is willing to further boost economic, technological and cultural ties with China, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.

The author is head of the Institute of Historical Research at the Bayt Al-Hikma, a think tank in Iraq. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily. The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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