Workers carry rice donated by China, in Latakia, northwest Syria, Nov. 20, 2017. China donated 1,000 tons of rice to Syria, the Chinese Embassy in Damascus said in a statement on Monday. (Xinhua/Hummam Sheikh Ali)
LATAKIA, Syria, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,000 tons of rice donated by China has been delivered to Syria's northwestern city of Latakia, the Chinese Embassy in Damascus said in a statement Monday.
The donation was part of a larger supplies aid to be delivered to the war-torn country in batches in the near future.
The statement said the 1,000 tons of rice is part of 5,404 tons of rice China is pledging to deliver in the near future.
"China is working hand in hand with the Syrian side to secure the rice to be delivered to the Syrian people as soon as possible," the statement read.
A delegation from the Chinese Embassy in Damascus visited on Monday the port of the coastal city of Latakia in northwestern Syria, where the first shipment arrived.
Ibrahim Khudr Salem, governor of Latakia, escorted the delegation to the port of Latakia, expressing gratitude for the Chinese food aid.
"Thanks for the aid donated by China and for the supportive stance of the Chinese government and people to the Syrian people in their confrontation of terrorism and the regional schemes to divide Syria," Khudr said.
For his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Syria Qi Qianjin told Xinhua that China aimed to help the Syrian people in the difficult time the country is passing through.
"We would like, through this food aid, to help the Syrian people in the difficult time of war and this food aid is a clear sign of the firm relations and friendship between the governments and peoples of China and Syria and we will continue to offer all humanitarian and economic help to the Syrian people," the ambassador said.
China has been supporting Syria in the humanitarian field since 2011. In May, China declared that it would provide food aid to the developing countries, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.
China has also cooperated with UN organizations to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people throughout the six-year war.
Apart from the cooperation with the humanitarian organizations, China has also made direct donations in Syria.
In the first half of 2017, the Chinese government signed three agreements with the Syrian government to provide humanitarian aid to Syria worth over 40 million U.S. dollars.
Meanwhile, China stressed that it will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Syria while calling to reach a political solution to end the Syrian war.