Although China and Iraq established diplomatic ties as early as 1958, due to frequent security instabilities of the latter, it was not until 2015 that the two sides started frequent cooperation on various fronts. In December 2015, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi traveled to China and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, with strategic partnership between the two sides established. The two sides agreed to strengthen high-level engagement, enhance strategic communication on bilateral ties and international and regional issues of common concern to increase consensus and consolidate strategic mutual trust. President Xi vowed to push ties between the two a step further, under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. According to Xi, China would assist Iraq's reconstruction in energy, electricity, communication and infrastructure.