Chinese President Xi Jinping begins a visit to Saudi Arabia tomorrow, Wednesday, that will last for 3 days, his first since 2016, during which he is scheduled to participate in two summits, the Gulf-Chinese and the Arab-Chinese, attended by the leaders of the countries of the region.
Today, Tuesday, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) stated that the Chinese president's visit comes at the invitation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, "and in order to strengthen the historical relations and the distinguished strategic partnership that binds the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to China."
According to the agency, during the visit, a Saudi-Chinese summit will be held, chaired by the Saudi King and the President of China, with the participation of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.
And the Saudi Press Agency stated that during the Saudi-Chinese summit, he will sign preliminary agreements worth more than 110 billion Saudi riyals ($29.26 billion).
The same agency indicated that, based on the distinguished relations between the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the Arab countries, with China, the visit program will include the presence of the Chinese President at the “Riyadh-Gulf-Chinese Summit for Cooperation and Development” and the “Riyadh-Chinese Arab Summit for Cooperation and Development.” With the participation of the leaders of the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, and the Arab countries.
She added that during the two summits, "means of strengthening joint relations in all fields will be discussed, and prospects for economic and development cooperation will be discussed."
The Chinese president's third foreign visit since the outbreak of the Corona epidemic comes, while the authorities are easing restrictions imposed to combat the epidemic in an increasing number of Chinese cities, after a week of unprecedented angry demonstrations.
The Chinese president's visit comes about 6 years after his previous visit to the Kingdom, and the Saudi crown prince also visited Beijing, and he met the Chinese president during an Asian tour in 2019.
Last month, the Chinese Consul General in Dubai, Li Xuhang, said in remarks posted on the consulate's website that the visit is "a major event for the improvement of Sino-Arab relations, and a milestone in the history of Sino-Arab relations."
And the French Press Agency quoted Saudi analyst Ali Al-Shihabi as saying that the visit reflects "deeper relations that have developed in recent years" between China and Saudi Arabia, considering that China, as the largest importer of Saudi oil, "is a very important partner and military relations are developing strongly."