China’s Xi to visit Saudi Arabia from today

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President Xi Jinping

Chinese President Xi Jinping will make a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia this week, meeting the king and de facto ruler of the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi state media reported on Tuesday.

President Xi will also attend a summit with rulers from the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and talks with leaders from elsewhere in the Middle East, strengthening China’s growing ties with the region.

The Chinese leader will arrive today (Wednesday), the official Saudi Press Agency said.

His bilateral summit, chaired by King Salman and attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, comes after Xi secured a historic third term in November.

Xi’s visit reflects “much deeper relations developed in recent years” between the two countries, said Ali Shihabi, a Saudi analyst close to the government.