By : Raga’a Shawkat
The Kingdom is China’s largest trading partner in West Asia and North Africa for the 13th consecutive year.
It is considered the largest supplier of crude oil to China and is the destination of Saudi investments abroad, as China is the second-largest economy in the world and the fastest-growing, as the gross domestic product for the year 2019 amounted to about 14.14 trillion dollars, which constituted about 16.38 of the global economy.
According to the Chinese Global Investment Tracker (CGIT) issued by the American Enterprise Institute, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the Arab country that attracts the largest amount of Chinese investments, with a total of 5.5 billion dollars, followed by the United Arab Emirates with Chinese investments of 4.32 billion dollars.
A New Diplomatic Stage
The political relations between the two countries have witnessed a steady development, culminating in the exchange of visits at the level of presidents, as Riyadh received Chinese President Xi Jinping as the first Arab country to receive him in 2009, and in his speech, he famously said (we must be partners).
This partnership was translated by the visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz – May God Protect Him – and the signing of economic agreements worth 65 billion dollars covering all fields from energy to space.
As an extension of closer relations, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Beijing in 2019 as part of an Asian tour to develop bilateral relations and enhance cooperation in all fields.
The Minister of Energy, Industry and Livestock explained that the prince’s visit (which will look at future cooperation and that investments between the two countries will witness growth in all fields) was the result of that visit announcing the Saudi-Chinese Investment Forum about the culmination of 35 economic cooperation agreements worth more than 28 billion dollars, with the participation of more than 25 A Saudi entity from the public and private sectors.
China and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030
Riyadh hopes that Beijing will be an important part of the 2030 project.
The head of the Council of Arab International Relations, Tariq Al-Shammari, also stressed that the trend toward China is based on the Vision 2030 initiative, which is the huge plan of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – May God Protect him – to diversify the economy dependent on oil, and that the strategic economic and industrial alliance with China is part of achieving the goals of the vision, explaining On the kingdom’s dependence on the policy of diversity of allies.
Partnership visions and goals
As for the Chinese approach, it aims to keep all its major international interactions as friends and avoid acquiring permanent enmity with countries. Therefore, Beijing works in the light of economic interests that do not pose security risks to it, and thus it has established itself as a major player dominant in global affairs.
During his meeting with his Saudi counterpart in March 2022 on the sidelines of the 48th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Chinese Foreign Minister stressed that (China and Saudi Arabia are good friends and sisters who trust each other, seek common development and always support each other on issues related to their core interests) and that his country supports Saudi Arabia. In protecting its sovereignty, security, national dignity, and its main development strategies, such as the Green Middle East Initiative and Vision 2030.
His Saudi counterpart also made it clear that the Kingdom is ready to deepen its integration with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and expand practical cooperation in all fields. a particular individual).