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Xi’s Saudi Arabia visit to deepen bilateral ties: Saudi editor

(People's Daily)    22:48, January 19, 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Saudi Arabia will significantly deepen bilateral ties in politics, economy, society and culture, Salman Aldossary, editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, a major Saudi Arabian newspaper, told the People’s Daily on the eve of Xi’s Middle East trip.

Saudi Arabia, now China’s largest trading partner in West Asia, will be the first stop of Xi’s trip.

“Xi’s upcoming Saudi Arabia visit is of historic significance,” the editor-in-chief added.

China and Saudi Arabia develop their economic and trade ties rapidly in recent years. ICBC, China’s largest bank by total assets opened its branch in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia on June 4, 2015. It is the first China-funded bank in the country. (Photo: Xinhua)

Salman said that to diversify its economy, Saudi Arabia has increased investment in China and their mutually beneficial cooperation is on the “fast track.” “As China grows its industry and technology rapidly, Saudi Arabia hopes to intensify its ties with China,” he added.

Hailing the importance of China’s proposal to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the editor-in-chief noted that it not only tightened economic, trade and cultural ties between China and the nations along the routes, but also facilitated infrastructure construction and currency circulation.

“Thanks to its geographic position and dominance of the regional economy, Saudi Arabia carries significant weight in the routes,” Salman added.

He also appreciated the newly-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), saying that the bank built to help Asian countries with infrastructure construction now receive more worldwide support.

Higer, a Chinese bus manufacturer, holds ceremony for strategic agreement signing and delivery of 1,200 school buses with Saudi Arabian clients in Suzhou, Higer's manufacturing plant. (Photo: Xinhua )

“Saudi Arabia, as one of the AIIB’s 57 founding members, will render full support to the bank together with other regional states,” the editor-in-chief added.

He explained that the bank would not only help member states modernize their roads, railways and ports, but also expanded their access to power and telecommunication services.

The AIIB would also open up new prospects for contractors in West Asia and North Africa to carry out infrastructure construction projects in the member states, Salman said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Zou Luxiao,Wu Chengliang)

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