Qatar Airways bought a five percent stake in China Southern Airlines Co. by purchasing shares listed in Shanghai and Hong Kong as part of its plan to invest in the “strongest” carriers around the world and bolster its network.

The Middle Eastern carrier now holds 613.36 million shares of the state-owned Chinese carrier, of which 183 million are listed in Hong Kong, according to a filing Wednesday by China Southern. The investment makes Qatar Air the fourth-biggest shareholder of the mainland carrier.

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Photo Credit: A China Southern Boeing 787. Mark Harkin / Flickr