Saudi Arabia is expected to host a China-Arab summit on Dec. 9, with Chinese President Xi Jinping as the guest of the kingdom, regional diplomats familiar with the plans said on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia and China will sign dozens of agreements and memorandums of understanding in the fields of energy, security, and investment. This will be done during the Chinese leader’s visit to the Kingdom next week
Xí Jìnpíng is scheduled to arrive in the Gulf state next Wednesday, according to sources, on a trip that will come amid strained relations between Riyadh and the US due to a dispute over oil supplies, and while Washington is concerned about China’s growing influence in the Middle East.
The diplomats said that leaders in the Middle East and North Africa had been invited to attend the Chinese-Arab summit. The Chinese delegation is expected to sign dozens of agreements with the Gulf States and other Arab countries in the fields of energy, security, and investments.
Earlier this month, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said that strengthening regional security and trade relations would be a priority of Xi’s upcoming visit.
“The level of representation depends on each country,” an Arab diplomat told Reuters.
“Many Arab leaders are expected to attend, and some will send at least their foreign ministers,” he added.
Washington has been at odds with Riyadh and Beijing over human rights disputes and Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. In recent years, Gulf Arab states have strengthened their ties with China and Russia amid growing suspicions about the US as a regional security partner.
“We are looking at the things that concern us: stability and security in the region and the world, how to increase trade and investment between the two countries, and of course, the climate issue is now at the top of the agenda,” al-Jubeir said when announcing Xi’s planned trip