Xi to visit Saudi Arabia from December 7-9
Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting Saudi Arabia with the intent of holding a summit with the kingdom, which could see their ties improving in the foreseeable future.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting Saudi Arabia from December 7-9 on an official visit, Saudi state-run news agency SPA reported on Tuesday, confirming reports about the matter.
Xi will be visiting the kingdom at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, SPA said, adding that the visit will see the two leaders chairing a Saudi-Chinese summit.
The Wall Street Journal reported in early November that the Chinese president intended to visit Saudi Arabia before the year-end, with the visit being in the works for months.
Beijing's consul in Dubai said last month that Saudi Arabia would host the first-ever Chinese-Arab summit in early December as the Kingdom bolsters ties with Asia.
Riyadh's foreign minister said Xi would be visiting the Kingdom in early December, though his statement did not say whether the trip would occur at the same time as the summit.
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 OPEC+ 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.
Earlier in November, 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.