Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister and Crown Prince, Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, is on a state visit in Beijing to meet with the Chinese leaders. On Thursday, during his meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese President called Saudi Arabia “China’s good friend, brother and partner in the Middle East and Gulf region.” According to Xinhua, Xi and Salman pledged “to strengthen [the] strategic partnership” between China and Saudi Arabia.
According to China’s the official Xinhua News Agency:
Xi recalled the rapid growth of bilateral ties since China and Saudi Arabia forged diplomatic relations in 1990 and the latter’s assistance to the affected areas after an earthquake hit China’s southwestern province of Sichuan in 2008.
Hailing Saudi Arabia as China’s good friend, brother and partner in the Middle East and Gulf region, Xi said developing a bilaterally friendly relationship is China’s established and long-term policy, calling on the two countries to strengthen bilateral partnership.
Xi said the two sides should maintain high-level exchanges and support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, expressing China’s support to Saudi Arabia for choosing a development path that suits its own conditions.
“Both sides should take energy cooperation as a pillar and expand partnership in aerospace and new energy to forge closer ties,” Xi said.
Xi welcomed Saudi Arabia to join in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, to promote transportation connectivity and cultural exchanges.
“China is willing to work with Saudi Arabia to accelerate the FTA talks between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and enhance cooperation in defense, security and anti-terrorism,” Xi told Salman.