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Xi’s Visit Deepens Saudi-China Ties With Huawei Contract

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Xi's Visit Deepens Saudi-China Ties With Huawei Contract

(CTN NEWS) – On Thursday, during President Xi Jinping’s visit, Saudi Arabia and China demonstrated their strengthening connections by signing several strategic agreements.

Including one with telecommunications giant Huawei, whose expanding presence in the Gulf area has generated security worries for the United States.

In a nation building new international alliances outside of the West, King Salman and Xi inked a “comprehensive strategic partnership pact.”

Members of the Saudi Royal Guard on Arabian horses and carrying Chinese and Saudi flags followed Xi’s car to the king’s palace.

The de facto head of the oil company, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, greeted the Chinese leader with a friendly smile as they held discussions.

Xi's Visit Deepens Saudi-China Ties With Huawei Contract

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 8, 2022. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

A military band played the national anthems as the two entered a pavilion. “A new era” in relations with the Arab world, according to Xi.

The show stood in stark contrast to the low-key greeting given to US President Joe Biden in July, which had been overshadowed by the difficult visit due to tensions over Saudi Arabia’s oil strategy,

And the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

The United States said on Wednesday that Xi’s trip was an example of China’s attempts to impose influence worldwide and would not impact U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

The United States is carefully observing China’s expanding sway and its ties to Riyadh are at an all-time low.

Xi's Visit Deepens Saudi-China Ties With Huawei Contract

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 8, 2022. in this screen grab taken from EKHBARIYAH TV via REUTERS

Despite U.S. worries with Gulf allies over a potential security risk in employing the Chinese firm’s technology, an agreement on cloud computing.

And the construction of high-tech complexes in Saudi cities was agreed upon with Huawei Technologies [RIC:RIC: HWT.UL] of China. Despite American worries, Huawei has helped build 5G networks in most Gulf states.

After the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, which soured Saudi-American relations, Biden bumped fists with Prince Mohammed rather than shaking hands.

Prince Mohammed has since made a comeback on the international stage and has been defiant in the face of American ire over oil supplies and pressure from Washington to help isolate Russia.

Xi's Visit Deepens Saudi-China Ties With Huawei Contract

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman fist bumps U.S. President Joe Biden upon his arrival at Al Salman Palace, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 15, 2022.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates claimed on Thursday that the prince and the UAE president jointly oversaw mediation efforts.

That resulted in the release of American basketball player Brittney Griner in a prisoner swap with Russia, further enhancing his international credentials.

Xi claimed in an opinion piece that he was on a “pioneering journey” to “start a new era in China’s relations with the Arab world, the Arab countries of the Gulf, and Saudi Arabia.”

In his letter, he pledged that China and the Arab world will “continue to hoist high the banner of non-interference in internal affairs, (and) resolutely support each other in defending sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Xi's Visit Deepens Saudi-China Ties With Huawei Contract

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, December 7, 2022. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Xi said these nations were a “treasure trove of energy for the world economy… and are fertile ground for developing high-tech companies”.

As he prepared to meet with other Gulf oil producers and attend a larger conference of Arab leaders on Friday.

On Thursday, several regional leaders, including the presidents of Egypt, Kuwait, and Sudan, descended upon Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, including the United Arab Emirates, have said they will not support one global power over another and are diversifying their alliances to advance their own economic and security goals.

Xi's Visit Deepens Saudi-China Ties With Huawei Contract

VERIFIED PARTNER

A significant trade partner of the Gulf states is China, the largest energy consumer in the world.

As the area pushes for economic diversification, bilateral connections have grown, raising concerns in the United States about Chinese engagement in sensitive Gulf infrastructure.

Riyadh would continue to be a “trusted and reliable” energy partner for Beijing, according to the Saudi energy minister.

And the two would increase their cooperation in energy supply chains by establishing a regional hub in the kingdom for Chinese factories.

According to the state news agency SPA, Chinese and Saudi companies also signed 34 agreements for investment in green energy, information technology, cloud services, transportation, construction, and other industries.

Although it would not provide numbers, it had previously stated that the two nations would sign initial agreements worth $30 billion.

According to Tang Tianbo, a Middle East expert at the think tank associated with the Chinese government known as the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR).

Xi’s visit will lead to further growth of energy cooperation.

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