Saudi Arabia and China discussed ways to expand bilateral relations in a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan chaired the virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The meeting was held as part of the fourth edition of the Political and Foreign Affairs Committee under the China-Saudi High-Level Joint Committee.
The ministers reportedly signed off on the “executive work program of the Political Affairs Committee.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Walid al-Khuraji and Undersecretary at the Ministry for Political Affairs Dr. Saud al-Sati were also present during the meeting.
China’s state news agency Xinhua reported on Thursday that the country “appreciates Saudi Arabia's pursuing of an independent energy policy and making active efforts to maintain the stability of the international energy market.”
The remarks come after OPEC+, the producer group comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plus allies including Russia, announced oil output cuts after weeks of lobbying by US officials against such a move.
The US accused Saudi Arabia of kowtowing to Moscow, which objects to a Western cap on the price of Russian oil in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia maintains that the OPEC+ decision was “purely economic.”
“China stands ready to step up communication and coordination with Saudi Arabia on hotspot issues in the Middle East, jointly safeguard regional peace and stability, and strengthen coordination with Saudi Arabia on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the G20,” Xinhua reported after the two foreign ministers spoke.
The latest interaction follows a call between Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and China’s National Energy Administrator Zhang Jianhua, earlier this month.
The duo discussed global energy security and agreed to work together to support the stability of the international oil market.
They also highlighted the importance of “long-term and reliable” oil supply to stabilize a dynamic global market that is currently facing “complex and changeable international situations,” according to a Saudi Press Agency report.
The establishment of a regional hub for Chinese manufacturers to utilize Saudi Arabia’s ideal geographical location was also explored, according to SPA.