BEIJING, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- China and the Middle East face historic opportunities in cooperation as President Xi Jinping embarks on his visit to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, according to a signed article in the People's Daily on Tuesday
Xi chose the Middle East as the destination for his first overseas visit in 2016.
The People's Daily said political mutual trust and strategic cooperation between China and the Middle East are deepening.
China and Iraq established a strategic partnership during the visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to China in Dec. 2015. China and Jordan established a strategic partnership in Sept. 2015. China and Egypt are strengthening their comprehensive strategic partnership. The list goes on.
During the past three years, President Xi, in bilateral or multilateral occasions, has injected a strong impetus to the ties between China and Middle Eastern countries. Their pragmatic and friendly cooperation is facing renewed historic opportunities, said the article.
Moreover, China and the Middle East countries are joining hands in boosting the Belt and Road Initiative.
They are promoting cooperation in infrastructure construction and creating new growth points for economy and employment so that their economies will be more risk-proof, according to the article.
It also stressed that China holds strong opposition against any attempt to link terrorism with specific nations or religions.
Some people, under the anti-terror banner, arbitrarily label some Middle Eastern countries as "evil", or even distort the Islamic civilization, the article said. China opposes any form of terrorism as well as double standards in anti-terror activities driven by political preferences or self interest.