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Facts and figures about Chinese president's foreign tour
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13:25, February 11, 2009

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Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Tuesday (local time) at the start of his "trip of friendship and cooperation" with Saudi Arabia and Africa. The following are some facts and figures about Hu's visit.

-- Hu's three-day state visit to Saudi Arabia is his second to the Arab state since the two nations established diplomatic ties in 1990.

-- Hu's last trip to Saudi Arabia was in April 2006, three months after King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz paid a historic visit to Beijing. The king's visit was the first by a Saudi head of state to China since the two countries established diplomatic relations.

-- Saudi Arabia is now China's largest trading partner in West Asia and North Africa, with two-way trade hitting 41.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2008.

-- In 2008, China imported over 36 million tons of oil from Saudi Arabia.

-- The King Abdullah Scholarship has sponsored 147 Saudi students to study in China since it was created in 2006. The number of Muslim pilgrims from China making trips to Mecca has also grown year by year, reaching 12,000 last year.

-- After the devastating earthquake last May in Wenchuan, southwest of China's Sichuan province, Saudi Arabia immediately offered a cash donation of 50 million U.S. dollars and relief materials worth 10 million U.S. dollars.

-- Saudi Arabia is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC, established in 1981, groups six Arab countries, namely Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

-- Saudi Arabia is the first leg of Hu's five-nation tour, which will later take him to Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius.

-- This is President Hu's first overseas trip in 2009, as well as his second African tour since the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in 2006.

Source: Xinhua

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