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China, Saudi Arabia agree to build energy cooperation mechanisms

Updated: Aug 25,2017 1:38 PM     Xinhua

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (L) meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Aug 24, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

JEDDAH — China and Saudi Arabia agreed in Jeddah on Aug 24 to set up a package of bilateral energy cooperation mechanisms.

The agreement was reached when Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Saudi Red Sea resort of Jeddah during Zhang’s visit to the Gulf Arab country.

Also during the talks, the two compared notes and reached broad consensus on bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, finance and industrial capacity, among others.

They vowed to push forward a seawater desalination project using high temperature gas-cooled reactors, as well as a Chinese industry park in Saudi Arabia’s southern border region of Jizan, and support the construction of a power plant in the western Saudi coastal town of Rabigh.

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (L) meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Aug 24, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

The two sides also agreed to promote cooperation over petrochemical projects and security matters, and enhance international coordination so as to further boost their bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Also on Aug 24, Zhang and Mohammed co-chaired the second meeting of a high-level steering committee, a regular meeting mechanism set up during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Gulf Arab country last year.

The two co-hosted the first meeting of the committee in Beijing last August.

At the second meeting, the two sides agreed that the two countries have maintained close high-level exchanges, noting that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud visited China while a number of Chinese leaders have visited Saudi Arabia.

They also agreed that the two countries have made smooth progress in key projects, and signed 30 major projects over industrial capacity and investment cooperation.

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli (L) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman co-chair the second meeting of the China-Saudi Arabia high-level steering committee in Saudi Arabia, Aug 24, 2017. After the meeting, the two sides signed the minutes of the meeting, and the two leaders witnessed the signing of a host of cooperation agreements involving investment, trade, energy, postal service, communications and media. [Photo/Xinhua]

Two-way trade has developed soundly with Saudi Arabia being China’s largest trading partner in the region of West Asia and North Africa over the past 15 years.

Both sides pledged to strengthen coordination and communication on such multilateral platforms as the UN and the Group of 20 gatherings on major issues that concern the world system and order as well as the rights and interests of developing countries in a bid to cement strategic trust.

Beijing and Riyadh also vowed to further synergize their development strategies, and promote practical cooperation and cultural and people-to-people exchanges for shared benefits and win-win results.

Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman co-chair the second meeting of the China-Saudi Arabia high-level steering committee in Saudi Arabia, Aug 24, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

They were also committed to stronger cooperation and exchanges in the fields of culture, education, health, technology, tourism and journalism.

After the meeting, the two sides signed the minutes of the meeting, and the two leaders witnessed the signing of a host of cooperation agreements involving investment, trade, energy, postal service, communications and media.

Earlier in the day, the vice-premier met with King Salman.

Saudi Arabia is the second leg of Zhang’s four-nation tour which has already taken him to Kuwait. He will also travel to Sudan and Namibia.

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