Thursday, March 16, 2017

China, Saudi Arabia stress ties, sign $65 billion in deals

China and Saudi Arabia signed more than a dozen agreements on economic cooperation worth $65 billion, according to Beijing's foreign ministry.

Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming told reporters Thursday that 14 agreements pertaining to investments, energy and space were signed when Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, according to Xinhua news agency.

The Saudi king is on a state visit to China from Wednesday to Saturday, and some portions of his trip overlap with a visit from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The meeting between the king and Xi comes at a time when China has reportedly been asked to play a bigger role in the Middle East, according to the South China Morning Post.

While the two sides do not necessarily agree on a strategy to resolve the Syria conflict, Chinese diplomats who spoke to the Hong Kong-based newspaper said China is growing confident about its influential role in a multipolar world.

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