China’s Xi says wants to deepen energy cooperation with Arab states

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Chinese leader Xi Jinping said Thursday he would seek to deepen energy cooperation with Arab states as he addressed a forum of regional leaders and diplomats in Beijing.

China, which has ramped up diplomatic exchanges with Middle Eastern leaders in recent years, is a key customer for oil-exporting countries in the region.

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“China will further enhance strategic cooperation with the Arab side on oil and gas, and integrate supply security with market security,” Xi said, according to a readout of his speech by the foreign ministry.

He added: “China is ready to work with the Arab side on new energy technology R&D and equipment production.

“We will support Chinese energy companies and financial institutions in participating in renewable energy projects in Arab states with total installed capacity of over three million kilowatts.”

In late 2022, Xi paid a visit to Saudi Arabia to hold talks on deepening energy cooperation. China is the kingdom’s leading purchaser of oil.

Beijing is this week hosting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and several other Arab leaders at a forum in which the war between Israel and Hamas is expected to be front and center.

China’s presence in the Middle East is expanding, to the dismay of leaders in Washington who warn of negative consequences arising from its greater influence in the region.

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