China-Saudi Arabia strategic mutual trust has been strengthened, and the bilateral practical cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results since the establishment of diplomatic ties 32 years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a written statement when arriving in Riyadh last Wednesday.
Bilateral relations steered by President Xi and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia have not only benefited their people but also contributed to regional peace, stability, prosperity and development, he said.
During his talks with Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud at the royal palace on Thursday, Xi said as an important member of the Arab world and Islamic world, Saudi Arabia is also an important independent force in a multipolar world and China’s important strategic partner in the Middle East.
A strengthened China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership
With the current international and regional situation undergoing profound and complex changes, Xi said the strategic and overall significance of China–Saudi Arabia relations has become more prominent.
China sees its development of relations with Saudi Arabia as a priority in its overall diplomacy, especially its Middle East diplomacy, Xi said.
China is willing to join hands with Saudi Arabia to achieve national rejuvenation, strengthen the development of strategic synergy, deepen pragmatic cooperation in all fields and enhance communication and coordination in regional and international affairs to push for greater development of the China–Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership, Xi said.
Meanwhile, Mohammed said Saudi Arabia looks forward to working with China to jointly commit to pushing the China–Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership to a new high.
President Xi’s visit will mark a milestone in bilateral relations, which will also promote cooperation in all fields, benefits the two peoples and achieve mutual prosperity and development of the two countries, Mohammed said.
The convening of the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit hold special significance, which will play a strategic role in China–Saudi Arabia relations and China-GCC relations, Xi said.
China expects to work with Saudi Arabia to make the China-Arab States Summit and the China-GCC Summit milestone events in the development history of China-Arab states relations and China-GCC relations and promote the relations to a new level, Xi added.
China will work with Saudi Arabia to strengthen collaboration under multilateral frameworks, such as the United Nations and the Group of 20, Xi said.
Mohammed thanked China for its support in granting Saudi Arabia the status of dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, adding that Saudi Arabia stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China and jointly address challenges of energy security, food security and climate change to make contributions in safeguarding regional peace, stability and security.
“I have full confidence in the prospect of bilateral relations,” said Mohammed.
Synergize Belt and Road Initiative and Vision 2030
Under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi people are marching in big strides toward Vision 2030 and making important progress in economic and social reform and diversification.
China supports Saudi Arabia’s major development initiatives, such as Vision 2030 and the Middle East Green Initiative and is willing to actively participate in Saudi’s industrialization process, aimed at helping the diversification of Saudi Arabia’s economic development, Xi said.
Implementing the synergy of China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the two sides should deepen and substantiate practical cooperation in all areas to yield more fruits, Xi said.
He added that China will work with Saudi Arabia to deepen cooperation in the fields of production capacity and infrastructure construction and advance the development of the China–Saudi Arabia (Jizan) Industrial Park and the construction of major infrastructure projects.
In fields such as e-commerce, digital economy, clean energy, high-tech and space research and development, Xi said China looks forward to expanding cooperation, calling for elevating cooperation levels in trade, investment and finance.
Mohammed said Saudi Arabia is willing to build the Belt and Road with China, expand trade and mutual investment and welcomes more Chinese enterprises to participate in Saudi Arabia’s industrialization process.
Saudi Arabia also welcomes Chinese enterprises to join in its major infrastructure construction and energy projects cooperation, Mohammed said, calling for strengthened cooperation in the automobile, technology, chemical engineering and mining industries.
China agrees to list Saudi Arabia as a destination for group travel and expand personnel exchanges, as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides, Xi said, adding that China will work with Saudi Arabia to promote more achievements in Chinese language education cooperation between the two countries.
Regarding energy policies, Xi said China will strengthen communication and coordination in this field with Saudi Arabia, expand the scale of crude oil trade, and implement major energy cooperation projects such as the Sino-Saudi Gulei Ethylene Complex Project.
Mohammed thanked China for supporting the Middle East Green Initiative, calling for enhanced cooperation in clean energy and green development.