Beijing, AP- Saudi King Abdullah arrived in China on Sunday for talks with top leaders on possible cooperation in oil and energy security, a trip reflecting expanding commercial ties between the two countries.
Abdullah’s visit is the first to China by a Saudi ruler since the two countries formed diplomatic relations in 1990. Bilateral trade has jumped as Beijing tries to expand energy supplies for its booming economy.
Abdullah was greeted at the airport by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing. He was scheduled to meet with President Hu Jintao on Monday and on Tuesday with the No. 2 Communist Party leader Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said Thursday the leaders were expected to discuss energy cooperation, anti-terrorism, politics, economics, culture, health and telecommunications. He had no information about possible energy deals to be signed.
Trade between the two countries — much of it Saudi oil bought by China — grew by 59 percent in the first 11 months of 2005 to $14 billion, Kong said at a regular news briefing Tuesday.
The main Saudi government oil company, a Chinese producer and Exxon Mobil Corp. are partners in a $3.5 billion project to expand a refinery in southern China.