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China, Saudi sign $65bn in deals

Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) in Beijing, China on 16 March 2017. [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout]
Saudi Arabia's King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) in Beijing, China on 16 March 2017. [Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout]

Saudi Arabia's King Salman oversaw the signing of deals worth as much as $65 billion on the first day of a visit to Beijing today, as the world's largest oil exporter looks to cement ties with the world's second-largest economy.

The deals included a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between giant state oil firm Saudi Aramco and China North Industries Group Corp (Norinco), to look into building refining and chemical plants in China.

Salam's visit to China comes as part of his tour of Asia which has seen him meet the leaders of Indonesia and Japan to promote investment opportunities in the kingdom, including the sale of a stake in Aramco.

Saudi Arabia is hoping to increase revenue from foreign trade and non-petrol income following a global drop in oil prices which has seen its reserves dwindle.

"For a long time, China and Islamic countries have respected each other and had win-win cooperation, and have created a model of the peaceful coexistence of different cultures," Xi said, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

Salman told Xi he hoped China could play an even greater role in Middle East affairs, the ministry added.

"Saudi Arabia is willing to work hard with China to promote global and regional peace, security and prosperity," Salman said.

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Asia & AmericasChinaJapanMiddle EastNewsSaudi Arabia
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