Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in Saudi Arabia Saturday on the first leg of a diplomatic mission that will also take him to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
China’s official Xinhua news agency said that, in a meeting Saturday with Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, Wen pressed Saudi Arabia to open its huge oil and gas resources to expanded Chinese investment.
The kingdom’s SPA news agency said Saudi state oil giant Aramco signed a deal Saturday with China’s Sinopec to build an oil refinery in the Red Sea city of Yanbu that will process 400,000 barrels per day.
Wen arrived in Riyadh after a short visit to Nepal on the same day.
During his brief visit, Wen met with his Nepalese counterpart, Baburam Bhattari, and oversaw the signing of several agreements. He also pledged money for infrastructure projects to help rebuild the nation following a decade-long civil war that ended in 2006.