DUBAI, United Arab Emirates ( Associated Press) – Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for a meeting with Arab oil nations vital to meeting China’s energy needs as it looks to revive its economy after tough measures imposed against the coronavirus. trying to revive.
Chinese and Saudi flags flew over the Saudi capital, Riyadh, while an honor flight flew overhead. Xi waved off the plane and descended the stairs to greet the officials who welcomed him at the airport.
The Arab countries of the Persian Gulf are trying to gauge their foreign policy as the United States turns its attention to other parts of the world.
Russia’s war in Ukraine – and the West’s tough stance towards Moscow – has also made Arab countries eager to improve relations with China.
During his visit, Xi is scheduled to attend the inaugural China-Arab States Summit and a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates along with Saudi Arabia.
While few details have been released ahead of the visit, it has been praised by Chinese officials.
Mao Ning, a spokesman for China’s ministry, said, “This is the largest and highest-level diplomatic event between China and the Arab world since the founding of the People’s Republic of China and will become a landmark event in China-Arab world relations.” ” of Foreign Affairs, told reporters on Wednesday.
John Gambrell is on Twitter as @jongambrellAP