Saudi-China summit set to herald new era in ties

Saudi-China summit set to herald new era in ties
Updated 19 January 2016

Saudi-China summit set to herald new era in ties

Saudi-China summit set to herald new era in ties

RIYADH: The high-profile Saudi-Sino summit scheduled for Tuesday with a record participation of hundreds of Saudi and Chinese officials and businessmen will herald a new era in relationship between two of the world’s most prominent nations.
“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will hold summit talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday,” Chinese Ambassador Li Chengwen said on Monday.
Li said that the one-on-one talks between King Salman and Xi would focus on a range of key regional and international issues including conflicts in the Middle East, energy cooperation, trade and investment within the framework of the “Belt and Road” initiative.
The Chinese side will also discuss security and terrorism as it has expressed its willingness to strengthen anti-terrorism cooperation with Arab countries with a view to establish a longterm security cooperation mechanism.
“China will support the efforts of Arab states, including the member states of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in countering terrorism, and support their counterterrorism capacity building,” said a report released by Beijing. The envoy said that Xi would have “in-depth exchange of views with leaders of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran, on bilateral relations as well as on major international and regional issues.”
He said that the Chinese side will continue to work constructively for peace and stability in the Middle East. During his visit to Saudi Arabia, Xi will also hold separate meetings with Abdullateef Al-Zayani, GCC secretary general, and Iyad Madani, chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Li said that “the high-level contacts between the two countries will keep the relationship moving forward and forward.”
Ambassador Li pointed out that former Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Saudi Arabia twice. President Xi’s first foreign visits as vice president included Saudi Arabia; and King Salman also visited China in 2014 as crown prince.
“President Xi’s state visit to Saudi Arabia will be of important significance, which I think is historical,” said the ambassador, adding that the presidential visits lends new dimension to relations both bilaterally and regionally.
On commercial front, the Riyadh and Beijing have reported progressively growing relations. About five agreements will be signed during the visit of Xi, said the diplomat.
According to statistics, the two-way trade volume in 2015 amounted to over $69 billion, 230 times that of 1990 when diplomatic relations were established.