Riyadh: Xi Jinping meets Saudi crown prince and other Arab leaders in key summit
Riyadh: Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Arab leaders on Friday at "milestone" summits hosted by Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.
Leaders of the Arab League across the Gulf, Levant, and Africa began to arrive in Saudi Arabia at the summit where Xi was accorded a red-carpet welcome.
China, as the world's biggest energy consumer, and Chinese firms expanding technology and infrastructure in the region have been a cause of worry for the United States.
On the occasion, Beijing and Riyadh issued a lengthy joint state statement, pledging to increase cooperation and stressing principles of sovereignty and "non-interference", while affirming the importance of a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict, the report said.
Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies have maintained their stand, defying U.S. pressure to sever ties with fellow OPEC+ oil producer Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and to restrict dealings with China.
The joint statement pledged to boost non-oil trade and enhance cooperation in peaceful nuclear power.
Riyadh voiced support for Beijing's "One China" policy on the issue of Taiwan. Xi invited King Salman to visit China, Saudi state television reported.
"China looks forward to working with Saudi Arabia and Arab states to turn the two summits into milestone events in the history of China-Arab relations and China-GCC relations, and bring these relations to new heights," the foreign ministry cited Xi as saying, according to the Reuters report.
Ahead of the summit, Xi held bilateral talks with Qatar's emir, Kuwait's crown prince, and the presidents of Egypt, Tunisia, Djibouti, Somalia and Mauritania are among rulers attending alongside leaders and prime ministers of Iraq, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan and Lebanon.
The report said that the Chinese delegation would sign agreements and memoranda of understanding with many other states apart from Saudi Arabia, which signed an MoU with Chinese company Huawei on cloud computing and building high-tech complexes in Saudi cities.