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Beijing investing over $400bn in 54 Muslim countries, says top Chinese diplomat

Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi (L) speaks during the 48th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers, in Islamabad on March 22, 2022 [FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images]
Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi (L) speaks during the 48th session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers, in Islamabad on March 22, 2022 [FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images]

China is investing over $400 billion in nearly 600 projects across the Muslim world under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Chinese Foreign Minister said on Tuesday, and Anadolu News Agency reports.

Speaking at the meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers in Islamabad, Wang Yi said Beijing has close ties with the Muslim world, based on respect and mutual cooperation.

"China will continue to stand firmly on the side of the Palestinian people and support the early convening of a more authoritative and representative international peace conference on the basis of the two-state solution, so as to promote a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian issue," Wang said, according to the transcript of his speech released by Pakistan's Information Ministry.

Referring to the long-standing dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, he said today he "heard the call of many Islamic friends" over the issue, adding that Beijing "shares the same aspiration."

READ: Muslim bloc's Foreign Ministers gather in Pakistan

About the war between Russia and Ukraine, Wang said that China supports peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

"We need to prevent humanitarian disasters and prevent the spill-over of the Ukrainian crisis from affecting or harming the legitimate rights and interests of other regions and countries," he added.

He also spoke about the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and said Beijing would support Afghanistan in achieving inclusive government and steady governance to open a new chapter of peace and reconstruction.

"China is ready to work with Islamic countries to promote a multi-polar world, democracy in international relations and diversity of human civilisations, and make unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind," Wang concluded.

UN Chief praises OIC

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in a video message, said that the UN enjoys close relationship with OIC based on trust and solidarity.

"We are working together to counter the challenges that abound, from the war in Ukraine and its global ramifications to growing inequalities and proliferating assaults on human rights," the UN Chief said.

Guterres added that the two organisations have worked together to nurture a culture of peace, tolerance and understanding.

He praised the OIC's role and said that, in recent years, they have successfully deepened their collaboration on key areas of mutual concern – including mediation, countering terrorism, preventing violent extremism, combating anti-Muslim hatred and promoting religious tolerance.

"Only together, in unity with partners at all levels, we can confront shared challenges and create a better future for all," the UN Secretary-General added.

READ: 'Consistency, unity in Muslim world needed to safeguard rights of Muslims'

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Asia & AmericasChinaInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsOICPakistanPalestineUN
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