During Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia, the two countries signed a number of strategic deals, including with the participation of Huawei, whose expansion in the Persian Gulf region raises concerns in the United States, Reuters reported on Thursday.
Xi Jinping met on Thursday in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abd al-Aziz al-Saud and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two countries have concluded an agreement on a comprehensive strategic partnership, the Saudi news agency SPA reported. She did not provide details of the content of the contract.
Riyadh also announced that it had signed a letter of intent with the Chinese company Huawei Technologies on cloud services and the construction of high-tech centers in Saudi cities. The deal was agreed even though the US had warned its Gulf allies against using the Chinese company’s technology for security reasons.
Chinese and Saudi companies also concluded 34 investment agreements, including in the fields of green energy, IT, cloud services, transport and construction, SPA reported. The agency did not disclose the value of the contracts, but earlier announced the signing of agreements worth USD 30 billion.
Xi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and was greeted more solemnly than the US president, according to CNN and AFP. Joe Biden during his visit in July. According to the media, this is a clear signal to Washington, which has criticized Riyadh’s rapprochement with Beijing.
Cooling relations between Saudi Arabia and the US
During his three-day visit to the Middle East, the Chinese leader will also meet with the leaders of other countries in the region and take part in the Gulf Cooperation Council summit.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States have been very tense lately as Washington accuses Riyadh of breaking human rights. In addition, the OPEC+ group, whose informal leader is the kingdom, recently cut oil production despite US efforts to increase the supply of crude oil due to market disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil exporter, and China is its most important customer and the recipient of a quarter of Saudi exports. Beijing is making intensive efforts to develop cooperation with exporters of energy resources. Now, due to war in Ukraine and turmoil in the markets of fossil raw materials, he does it with redoubled energy, assessed AFP.
Main photo source: BANDAR ALJALOUD/PAP/EPA