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China-Arab research institute launched in Muslim region

Updated: Dec 20,2014 4:28 PM     China Daily

YINCHUAN — A China-Arab research institute was established on Dec 19 in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui autonomous region, where many of the Muslim Hui ethnic minority live.

The institute, based at Ningxia University, is expected to be a top think tank for China-Arab strategic cooperation, communication and training, said Qi Yue, secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Ningxia University committee.

The Ningxia regional government and Ningxia University will jointly assign the institute 15 million yuan ($2.45 million) every year.

Li Shaoxian, vice-president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, will head the institute.

About one-third of Ningxia’s 6.5 million population are Muslims. The region expects to use its religious links to the countries involved in the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, which was proposed by President Xi Jinping last September, to revive trade and relations with countries along the route that spans Central Asia, Russia and Europe.