Xi backs economic diversification, social reform in Saudi Arabia

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-01 11:28:05|Editor: Liangyu
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 30, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Tao)

BUENOS AIRES, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- China firmly supports Saudi Arabia in its drive for economic diversification and social reform, and the two sides should boost their cooperation in various fields, President Xi Jinping said in a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman here on Friday.

Xi said in the meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Buenos Aires that China approaches its relations with Saudi Arabia from a long-term perspective and attaches strategic importance to the relations.

Stability and development in Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of prosperity and progress in the Middle East and the Gulf region, Xi said.

He called on the two nations to work together to better synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with the Saudi Vision 2030.

Launched in April 2016 by the crown prince, the Vision 2030 aims to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy beyond the energy sector.

Xi said he is happy that the consensus on bilateral ties has been gradually implemented, recalling the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership and the exchange of visits by him and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in recent years.

The crown prince, for his part, voiced strong support for China and for cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. He also pointed out that China has become the top trading partner of his country.

Saudi Arabia expects China to play a bigger role on the global stage and would like to facilitate more exchanges between China and Arab countries as well as the Islamic world, the crown prince said.