President Xi in Saudi Arabia to attend ‘largest, highest-level diplomatic event’ between China, Arab world

President Xi in Saudi Arabia

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to attend the inaugural “China-Arab States Summit” — the largest and highest-level diplomatic event between China and the Arab world since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

During his visit, President Xi will also attend the China-GCC Summit and pay a state visit to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

“It will be an epoch-making milestone in the history of China-Arab relations,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

The statement stated that the first China-Arab States Summit was a joint strategic decision of both sides to “strengthen solidarity and coordination” under the current circumstances.

“We hope the summit will provide an opportunity for both sides to explore ideas for further growing our relations, lay out the blueprint for future cooperation, and usher in a bright future of China-Arab strategic partnership,” the foreign ministry spokesperson added.

The statement further read that China hopes to jointly act on the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and contribute to the peace and development of the Middle East and the world at large.

As President Xi arrived on an Air China Boeing 747, accompanied by jets spraying green-and-white smoke in the sky after the colours of the Saudi flag, Saudi and Chinese flags flew in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. Another set of jets sprayed red and yellow, the colours of the Chinese flag.

He was warmly greeted by the Governor of Riyadh Province, Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister Yasir Al-Rumayyan, who works on China affairs and other key members of the royal family and senior officials of the government.