MIDDLE EAST

Saudi Arabia and China agree to boost all-round strategic partnership

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) shakes hands with Saudi King Salman (L) at Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 17, 2017. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed the two countries will step up cooperation in all areas and push forward their all-round strategic partnership, a news report has revealed.

This has come following earlier reports that the two sides were exploring ways to find further opportunities for Chinese investments in coordination with by Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives in multiple fields.

According to a Xinhua report, China supports Saudi Arabia as it advances on a development path suitable to its national conditions, maintains national sovereignty, security and development interests, and plays greater role in regional and global affairs, Xi said.

Reliable and stable market

China is a reliable and stable market for Saudi Arabia’s oil, Xi said, calling for closer cooperation in such areas as energy, communication, aviation, finance and investment, culture, education, public health, technology, tourism, media and security.

Xi said China and Muslim countries respect each other and set an example of harmonious coexistence between civilizations. In Middle East affairs, China advocates respecting national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, Xi said.

Trade and investment

King Salman, on the other hand, vowed to cement cooperation with China in the areas of trade, investment, finance and energy, in order to upgrade their all-round strategic partnership. Saudi Arabia highly values China’s stance of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and solving disputes through dialogue and peaceful means, he said.

King Salman also appreciated China’s role in maintaining international peace and security, expressing his hope for China's greater role in Middle Eastern affairs. After their talks, the two heads of states witnessed the signing of cooperative agreements on trade, economy, energy, capacity, culture, education and technology.

King Salman is on a state visit to China from March 15-18 at Xi’s invitation. It is his first China visit since becoming king of Saudi Arabia in 2015.

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Last Update: Friday, 17 March 2017 KSA 07:58 - GMT 04:58
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