Saudi Arabia, China release joint statement after Xi Jinping’s visit to Riyadh

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Saudi Arabia and China reaffirmed the significance of a stable oil market globally in a joint statement on Friday.

“The People’s Republic of China welcomed the Kingdom’s role as a supporter of the balance and stability in the world oil markets, and as reliable major exporter of crude oil to China,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing the joint statement.

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Saudi-China relations

The two countries agreed to enhance cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear power, according to the statement which was released following a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia’sKing Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh.

Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia on a three-day visit on Wednesday. On Thursday, he met with the Kingdom’s Crown Prince at al-Yamamah palace in Riyadh and discussed joint bilateral efforts to strengthen cooperation in various fields as well as regional and international developments.

The visit saw the two countries sign several agreements and memorandums of understanding in various fields including green energy, green hydrogen, photovoltaic energy, information technology and cloud services.

The two sides also signed 12 agreements and MoUs for cooperation in the fields of hydrogen energy and the judiciary, Chinese language education, housing, direct investment, radio and television, digital economy, economic development, standardization, news coverage, tax administration, and anti-corruption.

This is in addition to signing nine agreements and MoUs between the government and private sectors, and signing 25 agreements between private sector companies in the two countries, SPA reported.

Appreciating Saudi hospitality, King Salman was extended an invite to China “at a mutually convenient time,” which was accepted, according to a SPA report.

In the joint statement, China expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s continued security and stability and affirmed its opposition to actions that would interfere in the internal affairs of the Kingdom, including attacks targeting civilians, civilian facilities, and Saudi interests.

Ahead of the China-GCC summit, the two countries “stressed the importance of joint action to strengthen strategic partnership relations between the GCC states and China, conclude a free trade agreement between the GCC and China, and work toward holding GCC-China Meeting of Ministers of Economy and Trade 6 + 1.”

Energy and Infrastructure

The two sides agreed to “explore the common investment opportunities in the petrochemicals sector, develop promising projects in petrochemical conversion techniques, and enhance joint cooperation in a number of fields and projects including electricity, PV energy, wind energy, and other sources of renewable energy,” the statement said.

This development will include finding innovative uses of hydrocarbon resources, energy efficiency, localization of energy sector components and its supply chains.

The two countries also stressed the importance of deepening joint cooperation regarding China’s Belt and Road Initiative and enhancing the Kingdom’s location as a regional center for Chinese companies in producing and exporting energy products.

Regarding transportation and logistics, the two countries agreed to enhance cooperation and joint action on developing the air and sea transport sectors, modernize transport modes and railways, and expedite the studies on the Saudi land bridge project.

Saudi Arabia also invited Chinese expertise to participate in the future mega-projects in the Kingdom. It called on Chinese businesses to establish its regional headquarters in the Kingdom.

Trade

According to the joint statement, the two sides stressed the importance of enhancing communication through high-level Saudi-Chinese joint committees and also between the government and private sectors in the two countries to discuss economic, trade and investment opportunities to translate them into tangible partnerships.

Praising the existing trade, the two countries focused on bettering non-oil bilateral trade. The statement said that the two states aim to “facilitate the Kingdom’s non-oil exports to China, as well as increase the joint quality investment between the two countries.”
They also agreed to enhance cooperation in a number of fields including automotive industry, supply chains, logistics, water desalination, infrastructure, manufacturing, mining, and the financial sector to benefit from trade and investment opportunities aligned with Vision 2030 and the Belt and Road Initiative.

External Affairs

The two countries stated the importance of resolving the Russian conflict with Ukraine by peaceful means. China also praised the humanitarian and political efforts made by the Saudi leadership in light of the conflict.

On Iran, both Saudi and China agreed on the need to strengthen cooperation to ensure the peaceful nature of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

The two countries also called on Iran to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, “maintain the non- proliferation regime, and emphasize respect for the principles of good-neighborliness and non-interference in internal affairs of states.”

On the crisis in Yemen, China commended the Kingdom’s initiative to end the war and acknowledged its efforts and initiatives aimed at encouraging dialogue between Yemeni parties.

The two sides stressed the importance of supporting the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council and agreed on the “importance of the Iran-backed Houthis’ commitment to a truce, cooperation with the UN special envoy for Yemen, and engagement with initiatives and efforts for peace in order to reach a permanent and comprehensive political solution to the crisis.”

The two sides stressed the need to intensify efforts to reach a political solution to the Syrian crisis, restore security and end terrorism. They also affirmed their continued support for the efforts of the United Nations and its special envoy for Syria.

On Lebanon, the two sides “affirmed their concern for the security, stability, and unity of the Lebanese territories,” and stressed the importance of carrying out the necessary reforms and dialogue to ensure that Lebanon overcomes its crisis, in order to avoid being the starting point for any terrorist acts, becoming incubators for terrorist organizations and groups that destabilize the security and stability of the region, or to be a source for drug smuggling.

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