In this Nov. 30, 2015 photo, China's President Xi Jinping attends the opening session at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris. (Eric Feferberg/Pool Photo via AP)
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Chinese President Xi Jinping will make an unusual visit next week to Saudi Arabia and Iran, who are locked in a bitter dispute, in what could be a bid by Beijing to act as an "honest broker" as it seeks a greater regional diplomatic role.In a brief statement, China's Foreign Ministry said Xi would visit Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt on his Jan. 19-23 visit. A Chinese president has not visited Saudi Arabia since 2009 when Hu Jintao went, and Jiang Zemin was the last Chinese president to visit Iran, going in 2002 .China also has its own worries about radicalization of the Muslim Uighur people who live in China's far western region of Xinjiang, which has been beset by violence in recent years, blamed by Beijing on Islamist militants.
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