China Puts Oil Center Stage Of Middle East Strategy

This week’s China-Arab States Cooperation Forum focused on oil investment.

Traditionally a mere taker of crude from the Middle East, China is an increasingly key player in its production and wants more ( MEES, 25 May ).

Opening this week’s China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing, China’s President Xi Jinping pledged to provide $20bn worth of loans to facilitate economic reconstruction in the Arab world. Music to the ears of cash-strapped states struggling to rejuvenate their economies such as Iraq, Libya and Sudan.

Iraq raised $30bn in pledges – primarily loans – during a much-touted donor conference in Kuwait earlier this year ( MEES, 16 February ) – but China opted against opening its purse strings. If Iraq can secure Chinese funding for the plethora of development programs it has on the table – including oil refineries, power plants, housing, health and transport – it will be a major success for Baghdad. (CONTINUED - 1007 WORDS)

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chart 2018* Will See CNPC Vying With Total And Exxon As Top Foreign Mid-East Oil Producer (‘000 B/D)