By Arab News
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received Thursday China’s President Xi Jinping in Riyadh during his official visit to the Kingdom, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The king welcomed the Chinese leader and his accompanying delegation to his country, while Xi expressed his happiness at visiting the Kingdom.
During the meeting, which was held at Al-Yamama Palace in the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, they reviewed “the historical friendship” between Riyadh and Beijing, and ways to enhance them in various fields, SPA said.
King Salman and Xi then signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement.
The Chinese president arrived in the Kingdom on Wednesday for a three-day visit where he will attend Saudi, Arab and Gulf summits aimed at bolstering relations and investment with China.
The crown prince also welcomed Xi in a separate meeting where the two sides held official talks to review aspects of the partnership between the Kingdom and China, and joint coordination efforts to enhance cooperation between their two countries in various fields and in line with their vision.
They also discussed opportunities to invest in the available resources in both countries, regional and international developments, and issues of common interests.
Prince Mohammed and Xi then witnessed the signing of several memoranda of understanding, including in hydrogen energy, and to encourage direct investment between them.
The Kingdom also signed an agreement with China’s Huawei Technologies on cloud computing and building high-tech complexes in Saudi cities, as well as an agreement to coordinate between the Saudi Vision 2030 and Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.
The Chinese president was awarded an honorary doctorate in administration from King Saud University as a tribute to his achievements and great efforts in management and leadership, and in gratitude for the thriving relationship and continuous cooperation between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Saudi Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing Majid Al-Hogail and Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao signed an action plan to implement an MoU signed by both governments in August 2016, during Xi’s previous visit to the Kingdom.
The plan, which was signed on the sidelines of the Saudi-Chinese summit, aims to develop practical cooperation and friendly bilateral relations, and achieve mutual benefit and common development between the two countries in the field of housing.
The areas of cooperation include the exchange of development plans, policies, measures, administrative expertise and successful practices in the field of urban development and housing construction, implementing specific housing projects in China, the Kingdom or jointly in a third country, surveying, design and construction, site management, health, safety and environment, building materials and energy-saving buildings.
They also include the exchange of expertise in modern building technologies, financing innovations and green construction, and the application of information and data technologies in smart cities and the building, manufacturing and construction sectors, as well as training engineers and technicians in both countries.