by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
May 17, 2013 (TSR) – Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal in Beijing on Friday according to state news media agency, Xinhua.
Xi stated to the Saudi Prince that China has always viewed the Sino-Saudi bilateral relations with a long-term perspective in mind and called on the two sides to enhance exchanges.
“It is a set policy of China to develop friendly relations with Saudi Arabia no matter how international situation changes,” the president said.
He also urged the minister to strengthen mutual trust and push forward cooperation between China and the Gulf Cooperation Council, in order to build more mature, stable and sustainable strategic friendly relations.
Xi asked Saud al-Faisal to convey his greetings to Saudi King Abdullah.
Saud al-Faisal extended greetings from King Abdullah to Xi, noting that Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to ties with China.
Saudi Arabia is ready to work with China to expand exchanges and cooperation, and beef up coordination in major regional affairs according to the prince.
After listening to Saud al-Faisal’s opinions on the Middle East and Gulf region situation, Xi said the region is still undergoing profound and complicated changes.
“China is committed to promoting peace talks and pushing for political resolutions in relevant issues,” he said.
Xi said China is willing to enhance communication and cooperation with Saudi Arabia to jointly maintain peace and stability in the region.
Earlier Friday, Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi also met with Saud al-Faisal and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also held talks with him.
Aramco and Sinopec’s Yanbu refinery
On January 2012 Kingdom’s state oil giant Aramco inked a deal with China’s Sinopec to build an oil refinery in Yanbu that will process 400,000 barrels per day, state news agency SPA said.
The project, named Yasref, aims to be operational in 2014, SPA reported.
Saudi Aramco holds a 62.5 % stake with Sinopec holding the balance in the venture that highlights China’s growing role as an infrastructure developer in the Kingdom.
The deal “represents a strategic partnership in the refining industry between one of the main energy producers in Saudi Arabia and one of the world’s most important consumers,” said Aramco president and CEO Khalid Al-Falih.
The announcement comes as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao landed in Riyadh as part of a Middle East trip to key oil-producing nations.
The Kingdom is China’s top oil provider.
Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are both major oil-producing states but do not figure among the top 10 exporters to China.