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China’s Xi Plans To Visit Saudi Arabia On Wednesday

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China's Xi Plans To Visit Saudi Arabia On Wednesday

(CTN NEWS) – RIYADH – Xi Jinping, the President of China, is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia this week for a three-day visit, Saudi state media reported on Tuesday.

When China’s president comes to Riyadh this week, Saudi Arabia hopes to boost commerce with Beijing and discuss regional security as it looks to forge relationships with superpowers outside the deteriorating US-UK alliance.

The opulent welcome that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is anticipated to give Xi Jinping on Wednesday may stand in stark contrast to the subdued welcome given to U.S. President Joe Biden in July, according to officials in the area.

The world’s largest oil exporter is revamping its foreign policy to match the new realities of global dominance.

China's Xi Plans To Visit Saudi Arabia On Wednesday

China’s President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz as they attend the ‘Road to the Arab Republic’ — the closing ceremony for artifacts unearthed in Saudi Arabia, at China National Museum in Beijing on March 16, 2017. FILE PHOTO: AFP

Chafing at what it perceives as American disengagement from the Middle East and the Biden administration’s lecturing on human rights.

The Saudi monarchs will host neighboring Gulf dynasties for a summit with Xi and lay down the red carpet for bilateral talks with him during his 3-day visit, which a larger gathering with other Arab leaders will follow.

That reflects what Saudi Arabia’s official news agency, SPA, referred to as the “strategic alliance” that is now developing between China and Saudi Arabia, its primary oil supplier, after years of expanding ties.

The United States has served as Saudi Arabia’s primary security guarantor for many years and continues to be the country’s primary defense supplier.

They have voiced concerns about China’s expanding involvement in important infrastructure projects in the Gulf.

Crown Prince Mohammed, often known as MbS, has defied prior U.S. attempts to restrain Saudi action, including its war in Yemen, and has shown signs of appreciating former U.S. president Donald Trump’s transactional style.

When Trump visited Saudi Arabia in 2017, MbS showed off their cordial relationship with a lavish welcome ceremony that, according to officials, was anticipated to match the one he will give Xi.

With more than $100 billion in defense contracts, Trump departed Riyadh. According to SPA, the Chinese delegation is anticipated to sign $30 billion contracts with Saudi Arabia this week.

China's Xi Plans To Visit Saudi Arabia On Wednesday

BUSINESS

Due to Saudi Arabia’s oil exports and a common mistrust of Western meddling, particularly about problems like human rights, China views Saudi Arabia as its most important friend in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia is a “priority” in China‘s overall and regional diplomatic strategy, according to foreign minister Wang Yi in October.

In contrast to Washington, Beijing maintains cordial ties with Iran, a major opponent of Riyadh in the area and another source of oil for China.

Beijing has also shown little interest in addressing the region’s Saudi political or security concerns.

China's Xi Plans To Visit Saudi Arabia On Wednesday

Chinese President Xi Jinping pictured on November 19.

Although China has become increasingly involved in world affairs recently, trade still forms the backbone of its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh is looking for foreign investment to help it diversify its economy into manufacturing, including the production of vehicles and weapons.

Saudi Arabia and China have joint ventures in petrochemicals and refining in addition to oil sales.

The $500 billion NEOM megaproject in the northwest is only one example of the huge infrastructure expansion it has planned.

These plans may also open new business prospects for Chinese construction firms expanding their presence in the Gulf.

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