Saudi Arabia to host China-Arab summit in early December: consul
China's consul-general in Dubai says the first China-Arab Summit will be held in Saudi Arabia in early December.
Saudi Arabia will host the first-ever Chinese-Arab summit early next month, Beijing's consul in Dubai has said in a statement posted on the consulate's website, as the Kingdom bolsters ties with Asia.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Saudi Arabia in December, according to Riyadh's foreign minister. The consul's statement did not say whether the trip will occur at the same time as the summit.
"The first China-Arab Summit will be held in Saudi Arabia in early December," Li Xuhang, China's Consul-General in Dubai, was quoted as saying, without providing a specific date for the talks or naming the attendees.
This comes as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries shore up connections with Asian markets amid strained ties between Riyadh and long-standing ally US after the OPEC+ cartel cut oil production, ignoring pleas from Washington.
The US blasted the decision to cut output, and US President Joe Biden threatened Saudi Arabia with "consequences" after a coalition led by Riyadh agreed with Russia to cut output.
The next OPEC+ meeting is to be held on December 4, which will probably put global disputes over energy supplies back in the spotlight.
"Li Xuhang pointed out that the relations between China and Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, have entered a fast track of development," said the consulate's statement, The summit talks are a "milestone in the history of China-Arab relations," it added.
Earlier this month, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman went on a multi-stop tour in Asia, visiting the capital of South Korea after attending the G20 summit in Indonesia. He also met with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol.
The visit resulted in around 20 deals signed by both governments spanning several fields and sectors.
Asia has been for the past decade the top export market for Saudi crude, in particular China, South Korea, Japan, and India.