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Chinese president's visit to Saudi Arabia to show friendship
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18:28, February 10, 2009

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Chinese President Hu Jintao's scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reflects the intimate partnership of the two countries, Saudi-China Friendship Association Chairman Abdullah-Rahman Jourish said in Riyadh on Monday.

In an interview with Xinhua, Jourish said the Saudi-China Friendship Association had witnessed the rapid development of the friendly relations of the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries since they established diplomatic ties in 1990.

Saudi Arabia has been China's largest trade partner in West Asia for the past eight years. Statistics showed bilateral trade volume in 2008 exceeded 41.8 billion U.S. dollars.

The chairman said that his association had played an important part in promoting the economic cooperation of the two countries.

The Chinese president's three-day state visit, at the invitation of King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz, is his second to the Arab state since April 2006.

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the visit is aimed at furthering China's friendship and cooperation with the country and enhancing its cooperation with the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).

Since 1990, the two countries have witnessed rapid development in exchanges and cooperation in political, economic, cultural, educational and religious fields, among others.

King Abdullah paid a state visit to China in January 2006, the first official overseas visit after his succession as king, and also the first visit to China by Saudi king since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1990.

Hu's upcoming visit provides an opportunity for the two countries to further consolidate and strengthen bilateral strategic cooperation, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Yang Honglin told Xinhua.

It shows Chinese leaders attach great importance to the Sino-Saudi relations and China hopes the visit can push bilateral relations to a higher level, Yang said.


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