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President Xi’s Saudi Arabia visit is of historical significance: Chinese Ambassador

By Zou Luxiao (People's Daily Online)    09:11, January 17, 2016

As China and Saudi Arabia have greatly boosted their cooperation in recent years, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming visit to the Arabian state is of historical significance, Li Chengwen, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, wrote in an article published on the People’s Daily.

Li noted that as an honest and trustworthy friend, China has been contributing to the stability and development of Saudi Arabia.

It will be the first visit paid by a Chinese leader to the Arabian country since King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud succeeded to the throne last year.

Since the two nations established diplomatic relationship in 1990, the China-Saudi ties, after a boom, are now even closer than many of those established earlier, the ambassador explained.

Saudi Arabia has been very supportive to its Chinese friend, said Li, citing the example of deadly earthquake in Wenchuan of Southwest China's Sichuan Province in 2008.

He noted that after the earthquake, the Saudi government immediately offered the largest aid worth of $60 million. Yahya Bin Abdul-Kareem Al-Zaid, the then Saudi Arabian Ambassador to China in his 60 years, voluntarily donated blood together with the embassy staff, he added.

The Shanghai Expo 2010 is another example of friendship, and the Saudi government built a pavilion for the Expo at a cost of $150 million and donated it to China as a gift after the expo.

“With concerted efforts, the China-Saudi pragmatic cooperation has witnessed an all-round boom,” Li commented.

He explained that besides being the biggest trading partner and supplier of crude oil of China in West Asia and Africa, Saudi Arabia also offered support to China’s proposal of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The Arabian nation is also among the members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which was initiated by China, the ambassador said.

The ambassador added that bilateral cooperation in infrastructure, investment, labor, as well as areas including satellite and renewable energy also saw a boost. Personal exchanges are increasing as well.

“The Middle East is experiencing constant turbulence, and the global energy configuration is in deep adjustment. Against such backdrop, there are more converging interests between the two countries and more opportunities for cooperation,” read the article.

Saudi Arabia can play a key role in the new cooperation pattern between China and the Arab states which was proposed by Chinese President, Li said.

According to the pattern, China-Arab collaboration would take energy as the core, infrastructure construction and trade and investment facilitation as two wings, and three high-tech fields of nuclear energy, space satellite and new energy as new breakthroughs.

Amid such context, there is great potential in Sino-Saudi cooperation, Li noted.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wang Ao,Bianji)

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