Story: US eyes China-Saudi growing relations; 09-12-2022;
Chinese President Xi Jinping in Saudi Arabia, Saudi-China looks to strengthen ties.
Saudi-China relations to further bolster as the Chinese President visits Saudi Arabia to attend the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit.
Chinese president arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday afternoon and was received by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), Xi Jinping was invited by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia.
• Xi's plane was escorted by four fighter jets from the Royal Saudi Air Force after it entered Saudi Arabia's airspace, and by six Saudi Hawk jets from the royal aerobatic team after it entered Riyadh's airspace.
The visit is expected to bolster political and economic ties between Saudi Arabia and China:
The world’s biggest oil exporter is expected to sign around $30bn in agreements with China, according to Saudi state media.
The official Saudi Press Agency did not provide details but said, the two-way trade totalled 304 billion Saudi riyals ($80bn) in 2021 and 103 billion Saudi riyals ($27bn) in the third quarter of 2022.
Saudi state media announced 34 investment agreements in sectors including green hydrogen, information technology, transport and construction.
State broadcaster Al Ekhbariya said another 20 agreements worth 110 billion riyals ($29.3bn) were due to be signed on Thursday.
Saudi Arabia is working towards diversifying its economy and minimize its dependency on fossil fuels.
China might prove out to be a key partner in achieving high ambitious programs of the crown prince Salman, his sweeping Vision 2030 agenda involves mega-projects like Neom. The project is a futuristic, $500bn megacity.
China and Saudi bilateral trade in 2020-21:
China and Saudi bilateral trade in 2020-21 was worth $87.3 billion.
China is the top consumer of Saudi oil, China imports crude petroleum majorly from Saudi, other imports include chemical products, and plastics. China imports were $33.4 billion by 2021.
Saudi imports from China are mainly in Machinery, household products, plastics, transportation, metals, textiles, stone and glass. Saudi imports were $31.8 billion in 2020.
US keeps a close eye as Xi Jinping works to become global leader:
China's foreign ministry this week described Xi's trip as the "largest-scale diplomatic activity between China and the Arab world" since the People's Republic of China was founded.
Xi to meet with other Arab leaders as well who have arrived in Saudi Arabia ahead of Friday's summits, Riyadh-based diplomats said.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi, Tunisian President Kais Saied, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Sudan's leader Abdel Fattah al Burhan were all flying in on Thursday.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al Sudani, Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch and Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati have also confirmed their attendance.
The US-Arab ties are at the worst in decades following disagreements on energy policies, US security guarantees and human rights.
The White House is monitoring the visit and has in the past warned of “the influence that China is trying to grow around the world”, calling its objectives “not conducive to preserving the international rules-based order”.
Xi Jinping supports Palestinians:
Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Thursday that China firmly supports the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring their legitimate national rights.
In his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Xi said China always firmly stands together with the Palestinian people.
He added that China stands ready to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Palestinian side in promoting relations between China and Arab states, and implementing the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative. Reported by Xinhua news.