By SAMYA KULLAB
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — A Chinese language school in northern Iraq is attracting students who hope to land jobs with a growing number of Chinese companies in the oil, infrastructure, construction, and telecommunications sectors in the region. Anchored in energy, China’s interest in Iraq is expanding. Beijing is building power plants, factories, water treatment facilities, as well as badly needed schools across the country. Dozens of contracts signed in recent years ensure China’s growing footprint in Iraq, right as major Western companies, including the U.S., plot their exit because of Iraq’s volatility. It’s a risk Beijing appears willing to take, while Iraqi officials are torn between China’s favorable contractual terms and persuading major Western companies to stay.