Top Iraqi officials – including PM Adil Abd al-Mahdi and oil minister Thamir Ghadhban – visited Beijing this week, meeting with President Xi Jinping in a bid to further ramp up bilateral cooperation.

The meetings produced plenty of niceties and pledges of support. Mr Xi pledged “to push forward the China-Iraq strategic partnership.” Mr Abd al-Mahdi also expressed Iraq’s willingness to cooperate with China’s massive ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ global infrastructure push. (CONTINUED - 1032 WORDS)