Chinese President Xi Jinping will embark on a three-nation tour of the Middle East starting Tuesday. Xi will visit Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran in what will be his first trip to the region since taking office.
In Saudi Arabia, Xi will be meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who took the throne last year. The leaders are expected to hold a number of meetings, mapping out the future development of bilateral relations, and will be exchanging views on regional and international issues.
According to China’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia Li Chengwen, China has been fully prepared to make concrete efforts to help realize regional peace and stability, and the president’s visit will help with movement in that direction.
During Xi’s visit, the two sides will also be discussing cooperation in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, aerospace science and technology, nuclear energy and renewable resources. A number of deals are expected to be signed to improve bilateral cooperation and investment.
“Saudi Arabia is located at the junction point of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. It’s also one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,” Ambassador Li told CCTVNEWS, adding that the two countries can share stronger, deeper and long-lasting relations by building the Belt and Road together, which will also help push forward international and regional issues.
In addition to steady economic cooperation between the two countries, China and Saudi Arabia have maintained a close relationship, especially when China’s southwest region was struck by huge earthquake in 2008, with Saudi Arabia offering generous amounts of aid.