China, Saudi Arabia forge closer relationship
(Agencies - chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2006-01-24 11:34
China and Saudi Arabia signed five agreements
Monday in Beijing, including one on closer energy cooperation during a landmark
visit by Saudi King Abdullah.
King Abdullah, 82, who arrived Sunday on his first trip outside the Middle
East since taking the throne last August, met and held formal talks with Chinese
President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People.
President Hu Jintao
(R) shakes hands with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia during a welcoming
ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing January 23, 2006.
Both sides promised to take advantage of their growing oil business to
further develop a broader economic and diplomatic partnership.
President Hu and King Abdullah oversaw the signing of five agreements,
including one on "oil, natural gas and mineral cooperation," and another on
"economic, trade and technical cooperation", the Xinhua News Agency
Agreements were also signed to "avoid dual taxation", allow for a Saudi loan
to improve infrastructure in China¡¯s northwestern city of Aksu in China's
oil-rich Xinjiang, and to facilitate "cooperating in vocational training".
Neither side immediately provided details of the agreements, although Saudi
Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal spelt out before the signing ceremonies
the main interest of both nations.
"China is one of the most important markets for oil and Saudi oil is one of
the most important sources of energy for China," said the prince, who is
accompanying the king. Prince Saud said the energy deal would set the framework
for specific energy investments, but agreements on the projects would have to be
signed between the two countries' oil companies.
He suggested specific agreements could be signed soon.