Baghdad (AFP) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks in Baghdad on Sunday on issues ranging from trade to arming Iraq's hard-pressed security forces, on the first such visit in over a decade.
Wang met with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, during which the Iraqi premier called for "cooperation in the field of fighting terrorism," a statement from his office said.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari meanwhile hailed China as "the biggest trade partner for Iraq, and the biggest investor in the oil and electricity sectors," during a joint news conference with Wang.
Chinese companies PetroChina and CNPC have substantial investments in Iraqi oil production, which accounts for the lion's share of government revenue.
Baghdad is seeking to dramatically ramp up its oil sales to fund reconstruction of its battered infrastructure.
Zebari also said Wang's visit included discussions on arming Iraqi security forces, which are struggling to curb a year-long surge in violence that has killed thousands of people.
The situation in Syria, Iraq's civil war-torn neighbour to the west, and Iran to its east, which is negotiating with world powers including China on its controversial nuclear programme, were also discussed.
It was "the first visit to Baghdad by a high-ranking Chinese official since 2003", the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.
It follows a trip by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for talks that also included Syria and weapons purchases.
Brilliant move by China. As Iraq becomes more stable, the Chinese will partner in drilling and buy the oil. And sell (less expensive) arms and consumer goods.
The U.S. wastes billions of dollars in that nation so communist China can take advantage of the oil fields that Rumsfeld and Cheney were drooling over. What a tangled web we weave.
China want to get their hand on that oil. If you look at the countries China have been visiting lately, they all have oil resources. Countries like Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Iraq and some others.
China is smart that way... We should learn from them!
With China's penchant for complaining about the Japanese to any government they visit, I wonder if the poor Iraqis will have to listen to the whining too.
China has already bought up most of the mining rights in the whole of Africa. Now they're diversifying their portfolio because it needs oil too. And we owe them trillions.
In 2008 Iran's Ahmadinejad flew into Baghdad in the bright midday sun to a red carpet welcome. Later that year Bush flew in at 3:00 am under a veil of darkness to have shoes thrown at him.
It's so nice to see that all the blood and treasure we spilled in Iraq has served to make China a more powerful adversary. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” -Sun Tzu. The Chinese leaders obviously have read that book.
Iraqis love China since they were against our invasion!???
NSA For Breakfast
So in the end China gets most of the Iraqi oil.
PRC is there only for oil. They're not friends with anyone. Cesspool of Asia spreads it's tentacles.
The USA wastes the money, the Chinese reap the benefits
I believe the Mideast and other areas of the world will gradually welcome China to come and get involved into their business. Historically China has never done anything to harm them. Also China basically keeps neutral and does not threat any of them by force. China only intends to do trading peacefully with them and to enhance the living standard for the people of both China and those areas.
"China did nothing and American sacrificed so much to help Iraq,"
Let's be honest here and for once. We did not help Iraq. We ruined the country. And so much so as we did to Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
Tim, you are so correct.
All the US lives lost in Iraq & now...they are going to sell the oil to China....man...our gov really sucks sometimes.
do you believe China??? they are thieves and copy cats and terrorists of the world...
our boys dead for china to own lion share of oil rev ................nice
China wants the oil. The U.S. is controlled by Jews and want us to fight and die in the Middle-East for Israeli interests.
JOY de JOUR
Mr. Wang is a handsome man.
building bridges to the future ........
How come China is the biggest trade partner for Iraq and the biggest investor in Iraq's oil and electricity sectors, but we are not? We led the world to liberate Iraq, at what a cost again? Two trillion American taxpayers dollars and 5000 American lives! But we are not in the game/gain,
US handed Iraq to China on a silver platter.
That's kind of ironic.The US fought a war for regime change and the Chinese just come in and make business enjoying the favorable environment after the war. That tells you right there who is the fool and who is slick.