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China and Saudi Arabia
2015/06/23

 

China and Saudi Arabia

     In 2013, the strategic friendly relations between the People's Republic of China and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia maintained sound momentum of growth and their cooperation in various fields made steady progress.

     The two countries maintained frequent high-level contacts. In March, King and Premier of Saudi Arabia His Majesty Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense His Right Honorable Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud respectively sent congratulatory messages to President Xi Jinping on his election. In December, Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Saudi Arabia and met respectively with Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense Salman, Deputy Secretary General of the National Security Council Rihab Massoud and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdul-latif Al-Zayani, and held talks with Foreign Minister His Right Honorable Prince Saud Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud. In November, Wu Xinxiong, Vice Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission and Chief of National Energy Administration, visited Saudi Arabia and met with Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi. In March, China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue Wu Sike visited Saudi Arabia and met respectively with Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense Salman, Deputy Foreign Minister His Right Honorable Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah bin Abdul- Aziz Al-Saud. In May, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal visited China. President Xi Jinping and State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with him separately and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with him.

     Bilateral cooperation in commerce, trade and energy developed smoothly. Two-way trade continued to expand. Saudi Arabia remained China's leading global supplier of crude oil and largest trading partner in West Asia and Africa. China became the largest trading partner of Saudi Arabia.

     Military cooperation between the two countries moved forward steadily. In April, Deputy Minister of Defense His Right Honorable Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud visited China and met with President Xi Jinping and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan respectively. China's naval escort fleet made a number of stops at the Port of Jeddah for replenishment.

     The two countries enjoyed active cultural and people-to-people exchanges. In April, Minister of Culture Cai Wu led a delegation to Saudi Arabia to attend the National Festival for Heritage and Culture in Janadriyah and China's Guest of Honor activities. He met with His Right Honorable Prince Miteb bin Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud, Minister of State, Commander of the National Guard and Chairman of the Higher Committee for the National Festival for Heritage and Culture in Janadriyah, Minister of Culture and Information Abdul-Aziz bin Mohieddin Khoja and GCC Secretary General Al-Zayani. In May, Vice President of the China Foreign Affairs University Zhu Liqun led a delegation to Saudi Arabia to attend the First Symposium on China-Saudi Arabia Relations. In August, Minister of Higher Education Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari attended the 20th Beijing International Book Fair and Saudi Arabia's Guest of Honor activities.

     Bilateral cooperation between local authorities went ahead smoothly. In April, Mayor of Chongqing Huang Qifan visited Saudi Arabia. In May, Mardan Mekit, Vice Aksu Party Secretary of Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Aksu Commissioner, led a delegation of young CPC political leaders to visit Saudi Arabia.

     A total of 11,863 Chinese Muslims made organized pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia during the year.



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