Xi Jinping hails ‘new era’ in China’s ties with Saudi Arabia as key energy, defense deals are reached

Chinese President Xi Jinping heralded a “new era” in Beijing’s relationship with Saudi Arabia as he met Arab leaders at “milestone” summits during his strategic visit to the Middle East, it said. he said in a statement marking a show of force alongside the leader of the Gulf country. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Beijing and Riyadh on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to the global oil market as well as the principle of non-interference in internal affairs on the second day of the Chinese president’s three-day high-level visit.

“The People’s Republic of China hailed the Kingdom’s role as a supporter of balanced and stable world oil markets, and as a reliable major exporter of crude oil to China,” reads the statement. joint statement by Saudi state media.

The two nations “exchanged views on ways to strengthen and develop comprehensive strategic partnership relations between the Kingdom and China,” the statement added.

Xi said his visit to the Gulf country heralded a “new era” in relations. He is also expected to meet with other Gulf oil producers and attend a broader summit with Arab League countries on Friday.

“China looks forward to working with Saudi Arabia and Arab states to make these two summits landmark events in the history of China-Arab relations and China-Gulf Cooperation Council relations, and to bring these relations to new heights,” the Chinese foreign ministry said. Mr. Xi as said.

The GCC, in a statement on Friday, reaffirmed its support for OPEC+ decisions aimed at stabilizing the oil market.

Washington is closely following the Chinese leader’s visit to the kingdom as it reveals the growing influence of its economic rival in the region.

The Chinese president will meet with the Emir of Qatar, the crown prince of Kuwait and the presidents of Egypt, Tunisia, Djibouti, Somalia and Mauritania alongside the leaders and prime ministers of Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Lebanon .

Xi has previously held bilateral talks with Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Sabah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, Iraqi Prime Minister Shia al-Sudani, Sudanese General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and President Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, on a state visit to Saudi Arabia, attends a welcoming ceremony with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Royal Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 8, 2022

(AP)

In a significant achievement for both countries, Chinese and Saudi companies have already signed 34 investment agreements in green energy, information technology, cloud services, transport, construction and other sectors, reported the official SPA news agency.

The initial deals between the two are expected to be worth $30 billion. Formal financial investment in trade deals has not been confirmed by either country.

During the last two days of Xi’s visit, the Chinese delegation is expected to sign agreements and memorandums of understanding with several states in addition to Saudi Arabia. It comes a day after Chinese tech giant Huawei signed a memorandum of understanding with the kingdom on cloud computing and the construction of high-tech complexes in Saudi cities.

The statement released on Friday also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s position as a regional hub for Chinese companies in the production and export of energy sector products.

He also suggested a prospect of joint investments in energy projects in the region and “energy consuming countries in Europe and Africa”.

The third day of Xi’s visit is expected to see heavy attendance and talks with leaders of Arab League states aligned in the Middle East for the Arab summit covering the Gulf, Levant and Africa in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia extended a grand welcome to Mr Xi as his car was escorted to the Royal Palace in Riyadh by members of the Saudi Royal Guard on Arabian horses, in stark contrast to the generic welcome extended to Joe Biden when he visited the Gulf nation. in July this year.

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