On February 22, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Xi thanked Bin Salman for promoting the development of bilateral relations. Bin Salman praised the numerous remarkable achievements resulting from Chinese and Saudi cooperation. He expressed that one day would not enough for him to name them.
The Crown Prince launched the visit to Asian countries after the Khashoggi incident. Agence France-Presse quoted Najah al-Otaibi, a senior analyst at the pro-Saudi think-tank Arabia Foundation, “Riyadh wants to strengthen alliances in Asia — especially now — with the continuing fallout with the United States over Khashoggi’s murder as well as other issues and attempts by the EU to put Riyadh on a black list over money laundering allegations.”
Saudi Arabia had signed an agreement to form a $10 billion Saudi-Chinese joint venture to develop a refining and petrochemical complex in northeastern Liaoning province. Saudi also announced the signing of 35 non-binding memorandums of understanding, including deals related to energy, mining, transportation, and e-commerce. China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner.
Source: Radio France International, February 22, 2019