RIYADH: China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as part of a three-day visit to the Kingdom.
Xi was invited by King Salman to attend a Saudi-Chinese summit in the Kingdom, which will run until Dec. 9, state agency SPA reported.
The summit, headed by King Salman, will also see the participation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Xi is set to attend two more conferences, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development during his visit.
All three summits will focus on ways to enhance joint relations in all fields and economic cooperation.
In his arrival statement, Xi said: “I am very pleased to pay a state visit again to Saudi Arabia after six years and to attend the first Chinese-Arab Summit and the first Summit of China and the Gulf Cooperation Council, in response to the kind invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud. I am pleased to extend, on behalf of the Chinese government and people, my sincere greetings and best wishes to the friendly government and people of the Kingdom.
“China and the Kingdom have a close relationship of friendship, partnership and brotherhood. Over the 32 years that have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between them, the two sides have continued to exchange understanding and support,” the president added, citing the “strategic mutual trust,” “practical cooperation…(that) has achieved fruitful results in all fields,” and “close communication and coordination in international and regional affairs” between the two countries.
Xi referenced the strategic partnership established in 2016 between Saudi Arabia and China, which he said has “benefited the two peoples and contributed strongly to the promotion of peace, stability, prosperity and development in the region.”
He added: “During my visit, I will discuss with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in-depth bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern, and we will work together to plan the development of Sino-Saudi relations.”
The Chinese president reiterated that he was looking forward to attending the various summits scheduled and to working with GCC and Arab leaders “to elevate Sino-Arab relations and Sino-Gulf relations to a new level.”
Leaders from GCC and Arab countries will also participate in the events held in Saudi Arabia.
Xi’s visit reflects the leaders’ desire to strengthen bilateral relations, enhance strategic partnerships and highlight potential political and economic cooperation to serve common interests, SPA added.
Meanwhile, Saudi and Chinese companies signed 34 investment agreements during Xi’s visit in the fields of green energy, green hydrogen, photovoltaic energy, information technology, cloud services, transportation, logistics, medical industries, housing and construction factories.
The agreements were signed in the presence of Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih, and representatives of relevant government agencies.