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Arab delegates join political dialogue in China’s Northwest

By Wang Qingyun (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-04-21 00:39

Delegates from 16 Arab countries, most of whom are members of political parties, are taking part in a dialogue being held this week in northwest China at the invitation of the Communist Party of China.

Delegates from countries that include Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Tunisia, Kuwait and Qatar are joining Chinese colleagues for discussion of topics including counter-terrorism.

Hosted by the CPC Central Committee's International Department, the dialogue is taking place in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, which has a population of about 6.6 million, of whom more than a third are Muslims.

Since 2010, the region has hosted the China-Arab States Economic and Trade Forum three times and the China-Arab States Expo twice.

This week's dialogue aims to implement an initiative President Xi Jinping announced to the Arab League in January to invite 1,500 leaders of political parties in Arab countries to visit China, said Zhang Jianwei, deputy head of the CPC department's West Asian and North African affairs bureau.

Zhang said the event is being held at a time when political parties in Arab countries were paying increased attention to China and its development. The CPC is willing to share with them its ideas and experiences, he said.

The dialogue will include discussion of the role of political parties in implementing China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Zhang said the dialogue would abide by the CPC's principles for inter-party exchanges— independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

Relations between China and Arab countries have gained momentum since January, when President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and China issued a paper outlining its policies towards Arab countries.

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