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Saudi King starts Asia tour in China

International
Beijing - Saudi Arabia’s King Salman oversaw the signing of deals worth potentially $65 billion as he began a visit to Beijing on Thursday, as the world’s largest oil producer is looking to cement its ties with the world’s second-largest economy.

The octogenarian monarch, who has overseen the launch of an ambitious economic reform plan since his accession two years ago, is on a month-long Asian tour.

The visits to countries that are some of the world’s fastest growing importers of Saudi oil aim to promote investment opportunities in the kingdom, including the sale of a stake in its giant state firm Saudi Aramco.

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China’s President Xi Jinping and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, yesterday. Deals worth potentially $65 billion have already been signed. Photo: Reuters

Saudi Arabia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world’s second-largest oil market, after losing market share to Russia last year, by working mostly with China’s top three state oil firms.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Salman in Beijing’s cavernous Great Hall of the People that his visit showed the importance he attached to relations with China.

“This visit will push forward and continue to improve the quality of our relations and bear new fruit,” Xi said in comments. 

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