Published: Sun, February 24, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Saudi, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords - SPA

Saudi, China sign $28 billion worth of economic accords - SPA

Saudi Arabia had signed agreements for investment of $20 billion during Prince Mohammed's visit to Pakistan.

In June previous year, Saudi Aramco and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) signed a framework agreement and a memorandum of understanding with a consortium of Indian national oil companies to join a project for a mega refinery and petrochemical complex in India worth US$44 billion.

Aramco would supply up to 70 per cent of the crude feedstock for the complex, which is expected to start operations in 2024.

The two countries will sign agreements and memorandums of understanding in the energy, investment, transport and technology fields, said the Saudi Ambassador Al-Madi.

In 2017, during the last major state visit to Beijing by Saudi Arabia's King Salman, the two countries signed deals worth around $65bn, mostly related to energy and technology.

Ties between India and Saudi Arabia, the largest supplier of oil to India, have been strengthening for years, with Mr Modi giving special emphasis to India's ties with the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia.

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He stressed that China was keen on exerting greater joint efforts with Saudi Arabia to open new chapters in friendship and strategic relations.

Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman will then co-chair the third meeting of the China-Saudi Arabia High-Level Joint Committee.

Still, Mr Modi, in keeping with India's growing ties with Saudi Arabia, broke protocol to greet and hug the Crown Prince at the airport on Tuesday. Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Wednesday that his resolve to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership with Iran will remain unchanged.

China is facing growing worldwide criticism over its treatment of its Muslim minority groups as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on religion and minority languages. We respect and support China's rights to take counter-terrorism and de-extremism measures to safeguard national security.

However, the gesture only served to highlight the fate of thousands of workers locked up in jails across the Middle East, where there is a perception the prisoners are mostly poor labourers who have no real legal recourse. "It has no enemies and can co-operate with all countries in the region", said the paper, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily. China's increasing involvement in the tumultuous region is meant to be "pure friendly cooperation", the State Councillor added.

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