Chinese, Saudi Arabian leaders pledge to deepen ties
- Chinese, Saudi Arabian leaders pledge to deepen ties,
jointly tackle financial crisis
RIYADH, (Xinhua) -- China and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday vowed
to deepen their strategic friendly ties, work together to tackle the
global financial crisis and strengthen coordination in international
and regional affairs.
The pledge came during the talks between Chinese President Hu
Jintao, who arrived here earlier in the day for his second state
visit to the Gulf nation, and Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-
"China-Saudi Arabia ties have developed rapidly and reached an
all-time high since the heads of states exchanged their visits in
2006," Hu told King Abdullah.
Hu last traveled to Saudi Arabia in April 2006, three months
after King Abdullah 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 in 1990.
Hu said China values the important role Saudi Arabia has played
in safeguarding regional peace and stability and ensuring
international energy security.
China has always dealt with its relations with Saudi Arabia from
a strategic point of view, he said.
"The international situation is undergoing complicated and
profound changes. In particular, the global financial crisis has
posed severe challenges to us," Hu said.
To elevate bilateral ties, Hu proposed the two countries maintain
high-level visits and establish a high-level consultation mechanism.
On the economic front, Hu said both countries should take advantage
of their own resources and markets, promote an all-round energy
partnership and expand two-way investment.
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.
Calling for greater scope and scale of trade cooperation, Hu said
the Chinese government encourages more Chinese businesses with
capacities to participate in infrastructure construction in Saudi
Arabia to upgrade the level of project contracting and labor
Hu also proposed the two countries boost exchanges in education,
sports and tourism.
On world affairs, Hu expected both countries to improve the
communication and consultations on important international and
regional issues and ensure regional peace and stability.
Hu also called for stronger cooperation within the framework of
China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Saudi Arabia is a member of the GCC, which plays an important
role in maintaining peace and stability in the Gulf region and
boosting regional economic development, as well as contributing to
international energy markets.
The GCC, established in 1981, consists of six Arab countries,
namely Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab
Hu also appreciated the support Saudi Arabia has offered to China
in the country's post-quake relief efforts and the Beijing Summer
Olympics held last August.
After the 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit western China and claimed
nearly 90,000 lives in May 2008, King Abdullah offered a cash
donation of 50 million dollars and materials worth 10 million
King Abdullah echoed Hu's views on bilateral relations, saying
both countries enjoy fraternal ties and China is Saudi Arabia's most
He said it is in the common interests of both countries to foster
friendship and Saudi Arabia has a strong will to promote bilateral
The king said his country would like to seek stronger cooperation
in trade, economic and other fields with China and exchange views on
international issues of common concern.
The king said the GCC has sound cooperation with China and all
member countries would like to further develop ties.
On the financial crisis, Hu said China and Saudi Arabia should
step up coordination, work more closely on trade and investment,
jointly respond to and guard against financial risks, in a bid to
ensure the two countries' economic and financial stability.
Hu and King Abdullah agreed on keeping closer communication on
reforming the world financial system, particularly on a Group of 20
financial summit to be held in London in April.
Following the talks, Hu and King Abdullah witnessed the signing
ceremony of five cooperation deals in energy, health, quarantine,
transportation and culture.
Hu is also scheduled to meet GCC Secretary General Abdul Rahman
Al-Attiya to discuss cooperation between China and GCC member
countries on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia is the first leg of Hu's five-nation tour. The week-
long trip will also take him to Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and
Chinese president meets Saudi Arabian king on ties
RIYADH, (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao met Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz here Tuesday on deepening the two countries' friendship and cooperation.
Hu arrived here earlier in the day at the start of his "journey of friendship and cooperation" to Saudi Arabia and four African countries.
In a written statement issued upon his arrival, Hu said he would exchange views with the king on China-Saudi Arabia ties and global and regional issues of common concern, including ways of addressing the international financial crisis.
Since China and Saudi Arabia established diplomatic ties in 1990, bilateral relations have developed steadily, with increasing exchange of visits at different levels and expanding cooperation in various sectors.
Saudi Arabia is now China's largest trading partner in West Asia and North Africa. In 2008, two-way trade between China and Saudi Arabia amounted to 41.8 billion U.S. dollars.
During the visit, President Hu will also meet Abdul Rahman Al-Attiya, secretary general of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), to discuss cooperation between China and GCC member countries.
From Riyadh, Hu will travel on to Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Mauritius.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters last week that Hu's visit was aimed at further strengthening China's friendship and cooperation with these countries.
"It is believed that the visit will promote the in-depth development of China-Saudi Arabia strategic friendly relations and China-Africa new strategic partnership and further consolidate the China-Africa traditional friendship," said Jiang.
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