Saudi Arabia, China strengthen partnership on defence, energy
During a visit aimed at fortifying strategic ties, Saudi Arabia and China reiterated their cooperation on the global oil market and the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs at a time when Washington’s relations with Riyadh appear to be worsening.
Several significant agreements, including one involving Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, have been signed by Saudi King Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping since the official state visit began on Wednesday.
In a joint statement released on Friday, the two parties said they “exchanged thoughts regarding how to reinforce and develop comprehensive strategic partnership relations between the Kingdom and China.”
It emphasized the ideas of sovereignty and “non-interference” while reiterating the importance of a peaceful conclusion to the Ukraine conflict.
In response to Gulf security concerns over Iran, another country that supplies China with oil and with which Beijing maintains close ties, they agreed that it was necessary to “strengthen joint cooperation to ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme” and for Tehran to uphold “principles of good-neighborliness.”
The Chinese leader said that his visit, which includes talks with other Gulf oil producers and participation in a broader summit with Arab League states on Friday, marked the start of a “new era” in bilateral relations.
“China looks forward to cooperating with Saudi Arabia and Arab states to turn the two summits into landmark events in the history of China-Arab ties and China-GCC relations, and boost these relations to new heights,” Xi was quoted by the foreign ministry as saying.
The emir of Qatar, the crown prince of Kuwait, the presidents of Egypt, Tunisia, Djibouti, Somalia, and Mauritania are also there, in addition to the presidents and prime ministers of Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, and Algeria.