Beijing, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi Arabia and China have signed a number of agreements against the backdrop of Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s historic visit to the country, expanding the deep bilateral relations between Riyadh and Beijing.
The Saudi Crown Prince, who also holds the posts of Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, welcomed the signing of four agreements on Friday, saying: “This confirms the depth of this partnership and its noble objectives based on the joint desire to continue the historical ties binding our two peoples and our common endeavor to achieve comprehensive development in the service of peace and stability.”
Crown Prince Salman also held talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at the State Council’s presidential palace in Beijing on Friday. Both sides pledged to bolster joint cooperation and to strengthen ties between Riyadh and Beijing.
In earlier talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, Crown Prince Salman called on China to assist in finding a quick and peaceful solution to the ongoing Syrian conflict based on the Geneva Communiqué. He also called on Beijing to help end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, paving the way for an independent Palestinian state.
In his keynote speech at a reception hosted by the Chinese president at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Crown Prince Salman said: “This visit comes as an extension to the visit paid by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, eight years ago that laid the foundation for a new era of relations between our two countries.”
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, attaches special interest to developing its relations and consolidating the cooperation with the people of the Republic of China in different fields. We are pleased to have felt a similar interest from His Excellency President Xi Jinping.”
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Saudi Arabia and China signed four agreements on Friday.
The Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese Public Department for Quality Control, Tests and Quarantine. The agreement was signed by Saudi Minister of Commerce and Industry Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabee’a and President of the Chinese Public Department for Quality Control Mr. Chi Shoping.
The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese National Space Management for cooperation in the fields of space sciences and technology. The memorandum was signed by KACST President Dr. Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Suwayel and Chinese Deputy Minister for Industry and Information Technology Mr. Cheo Datchi.
The third agreement was a memorandum of understanding on the Saudi Development Fund’s contribution to co-financing the new headquarters for the University of Leolyang in Sanche province. The memorandum was signed by Saudi Development Fund president Yousef Bin Ibrahim Al-Bassam and Chinese Deputy Finance Minister Mr. Wang Bawon.
The fourth and final agreement pledged greater cooperation in boosting investment between the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s Investment Development Commission. The memorandum of understanding was signed by SAGIA Governor Abdullatif Al-Othman Investment Development Commission Chairman Mr. Leo Diancheon.
Crown Prince Salman hailed the agreements, saying: “I would like to express our satisfaction over the views we have reached with the President on the issues and topics that have been discussed, including the agreement to expand the circle of bilateral cooperation, especially in the fields of politics, security, economy, commerce, industry, science, technology, energy and culture. In addition to working to strengthen the contacts between the private sectors in both countries and entering into joint ventures and investments to the mutual interest of the two friendly peoples.”
“The fruitful cooperation between our two countries was not confined to specific fields and we witness the transformation of this relation into a strategic partnership with broad dimensions to the benefit of the two friendly peoples,” the Crown Prince added in his keynote speech.