Major Impetus from Beijing to Promote Reconstruction of Syria

The China-Arab Exchange Association sponsored a forum in Beijing on July 9 on the reconstruction and development of Syria. Such an approach is precisely what EIR and the Schiller Institute have long promoted as the only way to bring the various factions together (excluding terrorists and jihadists) around the perspective of a hopeful future for all, putting aside all partisan and petty power games.

According to the Global Times, the Syrian Ambassador to China, Imad Moustapha, commented that “Syria has gradually begun its rebuilding program mainly in energy, water supply and manufacturing,” and that China’s structural reform and reduction of overcapacity can connect with Syria’s rebuilding, while the Belt and Road Initiative offers a good chance to work with Syria in various fields.

Hua Liming, a former Chinese Ambassador to Iran, told the same Global Times that China would invest in Syria’s rebuilding, very likely attracting both state-backed and private companies. “Infrastructure such as roads, houses and the water supply system is the primary investment target. Rehabilitating the oil industry would be the second goal,” Hua said. Although the unstable situation puts obvious restraints on the reconstruction, the process will begin in any case.

The recent U.S.-Russian cease-fire deal in southwest Syria concluded by Presidents Trump and Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Hua said, means that reconstruction can begin. “Rebuilding is very likely to begin in western Syria, areas around Damascus and the strongholds of President Bashar al-Assad.”

Sputnik also reported on the event, noting that a delegation of 30-50 representatives of Chinese enterprises is expected to visit Syria from Aug. 15-22 “to explore investment opportunities,” according to Qin Yong, the deputy chairman of China-Arab Exchange Association. They plan to visit Damascus, Homs and Aleppo and meet with local officials to discuss a wide range of reconstruction projects. Qin said discussions are “primarily focused on restoration of the power supply systems in Syria.”

A number of Chinese enterprises, including the state-owned China Energy Engineering Corporation and China Construction Fifth Engineering Division Corp., have signed up for the visit to Syria next month.

There is also a plan under discussion to create a Chinese-Syrian industrial park for 150 companies, costing $2 billion and creating 40,000 jobs.