Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Chinese Minister: King Salman’ Visit Moves Overarching Strategic Partnership to Highest Level | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan attends a news conference on the sidelines of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) in Beijing, China, March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Iris Zhao

Riyadh – China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan asserted that the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to China would boost the comprehensive strategic partnership between Beijing and Riyadh.

“Leaders of both countries are expected to sign major joint agreements, during this visit, on a large scope that convers economic and commercial cooperation. This will represent a huge motive to the development of Sino-Saudi economic and commercial cooperation relations,” the commerce minister told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He added: “Simultaneously, both parties will sign a series of economic and commercial cooperation agreements, including cooperation in the field of commerce and investment between Saudi Arabia and China ministries of commerce.”

Shan recalled the visit carried out by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the kingdom in January 2016 when Jinping and King Salman announced establishing an overarching strategic partnership, opening a new page of cooperation.

He pointed out that China has become the biggest commercial partner of Saudi Arabia with an annual growth of 36% since the establishment of official diplomatic relations in 1990.

“Currently, there are more than 100 Chinese companies carrying out investment and contracting projects in the kingdom,” Shan added.

The Chinese minister of commerce revealed that trade between China and countries along the borders of One Belt-One Road reached CNY6.3 trillion in 2016, adding that his country carried out direct investments there worth USD14.5 billion in addition to launching and operating a mammoth number of giant projects.

He concluded that the “The One Belt-One Road Initiative and Saudi Vision 2030 intersect at many points — Both parties are capable of playing a vital role in consolidating global economy development.”