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Saudi Arabia, China agree to boost military cooperation

January 27, 2022 at 5:46 pm

Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister Prince Khalid Bin Salman in Washington, DC on 29 August 2019 [BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia and China have pledged to expand their cooperation in the field of defence and bilateral military relations, further strengthening the ties between the two countries.

In a virtual meeting yesterday, China’s Minister of National Defence, Wei Fenghe, and Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defence Minister, Khalid bin Salman, agreed on greater coordination and cooperation in opposition to hegemonic and bullying tactics in the region, while advocating for protecting the interests of developing nations.

Wei stated that the Chinese military is willing to maintain strategic communications with the Saudi armed forces in line with the cooperation mechanism planned between them. He also expressed the aim to increase solidarity in comparing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Khalid bin Salman praised the strategic partnership and progress in military relations between Riyadh and Beijing, saying that it has been steadily developing and reiterated the need for more military cooperation.

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The Chinese Minister also thanked bin Salman for the Kingdom’s devoted support for China’s persecution of the Uyghur Muslim population in the north-west province of Xinjiang and the suppression of the anti-Beijing democratic movement in Hong Kong.

Saudi Arabia is amongst the list of Muslim-majority countries which have refused to condemn or investigate the persecution of the Uyghurs, and which have agreed to collaborate with Beijing in deporting Uyghurs abroad back to China. Others include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Pakistan and Morocco.

A number of Uyghurs are also languishing in detention under Saudi authorities and are at risk of deportation back to China, including an Islamic scholar who was reported earlier this month to be on the verge of deportation.

READ: The Muslim world must do more to help Uyghurs being persecuted in China