Saudi Arabian FM visit reflects high-level China-Saudi strategic partnership: Wang Yi

BEIJING, Jan 11 (APP): “As the first foreign minister to arrive in China in the new year, your visit reflects the high-level China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership,” said China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister during talks with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Wuxi, East China’s Jiangsu Province.

Wang noted that as a good friend, partner and brother sharing mutual trust and reciprocity with Saudi Arabia, China had always prioritized the relations with Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and was willing to push bilateral relations to a higher and deeper level, according to Global Times on Tuesday.

He said as an important Islamic country, “Saudi Arabia upholds justice on the Xinjiang issue and opposes the interference into China’s domestic affairs, which China highly appreciates, adding its gratitude toward Saudi Arabia for standing with China to hold the Beijing 2022 Games.”

The two countries also shared great potential in trade and investment cooperation, added Wang. “China will support the ‘Vision 2030,’ ‘Green Middle East’ and ‘Green Saudi Arabia’ initiatives raised by Saudi Arabia, its biggest trade partner and source of crude oil imports in the Middle East. China wishes to expand bilateral cooperation in new energy, e-commerce, law enforcement security, Chinese language teaching and joint archaeology.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said China was Saudi Arabia’s important strategic and development partner. Saudi Arabia firmly supported the one China Principle, as well as China’s proper position on Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and human rights issues, he added.

“Saudi Arabia is willing to synergize its “Vision 2030″ with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, deepen practical cooperation in oil and gas resources, clean energy, Chinese language teaching and humanities exchanges,” Faisal noted.

Wang Yi emphasized that China congratulated Saudi Arabia on taking over the rotating presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), hoping to improve the overall cooperation level with the GCC through practical cooperation in multiple areas.

The two ministers also exchanged views on the Iran nuclear issue and issues relating to Yemen and Afghanistan. Faisal appreciated China’s positive role in peacefully promoting regional safety and stability.

At the invitation of Wang Yi, the foreign ministers of four Middle East countries, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain, as well as GCC secretary general started to visit China from Monday. The first-ever group visit of GCC countries may make breakthroughs in the negotiations over a China-GCC Free Trade Agreement, analysts said.