China, Saudi Arabia celebrate 30 years of ties

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 22, 2020
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Turki M. A. Almadi (L), Saudi Arabia's ambassador to China and Zhai Jun, China's special envoy on Middle East affairs, pose for a photo at the Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between China and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, held in Beijing, July 21, 2020. [Photo courtesy of the Embassy of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in China]

The Saudi Arabian embassy in China held a reception in Beijing on July 21 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. 

Turki M. A. Almadi, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to China, gave a speech at the event. He said that Saudi Arabia cherished its friendship with China and hoped China will always be a friend and support the kingdom's undertakings and concerns. 

"During the past 30 years, relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and China have been developing rapidly, which have become a model country-to-country relationship," Almadi said. "We have many fruitful achievements along the way as continuous progress has been made in the development of bilateral ties since 1990, and our relations are all-round, multi-field, not only about bilateral trade and mutual investment, but also extended to cooperation in the fields of culture, science and technology, and health."

The ambassador also shared his great appreciation for China's positive stance toward Saudi Arabia, as well as for the mutual support each side has shown one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. "China and Saudi Arabia are good friends who trust each other," he stated. 

During China's most critical time in its fight against COVID-19, the Saudi government and companies provided emergency supplies to China. Then, when Saudi Arabia was hit by the epidemic, the Chinese government sent medical experts to the kingdom and Chinese companies helped boost the country's COVID-19 detection capacity. 

Turki M. A. Almadi (6th L), Saudi Arabia's ambassador to China, Zhai Jun (3rd R), China's special envoy on Middle East affairs, and other diplomats and guests cut a cake to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries at an event in Beijing, July 21, 2020. [Photo courtesy of the Embassy of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in China]

Senior diplomat Zhai Jun, China's special envoy on Middle East affairs, also attended the celebration. He explained that mutual state visits by leaders of the two countries, the establishment of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership and the founding of the China-Saudi Arabia High-level Joint Committee in 2016 have injected new and strong momentum into China-Saudi Arabia relations in the new era. 

"The two countries understand and support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, while pragmatic cooperation in various fields has continuously achieved new accomplishments," Zhai said. 

China is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is China's largest trading partner within the West Asia and Africa region, as well as China's largest global supplier of crude oil for many years. 

"The bilateral trade volume jumped from $418 million when diplomatic relations were established to $78.04 billion at the end of last year — representing a 186-fold increase. In addition, the people-to-people cultural exchanges between the two countries are splendid," Zhai noted. "In particular, the important decision of the introduction of Chinese language education to the Saudi curriculum by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, has laid a solid foundation for enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples."

The special envoy hoped the two countries can strengthen mutual political trust, promote the Belt and Road Initiative to be compatible with Saudi Vision 2030, and deepen bilateral pragmatic cooperation. He added that as the 9th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) was held via video link on July 6, China is willing to work with Arab nations, implement results and consensuses of the CASCF, and build a China-Arab community with a shared future with the support of Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. 

Several diplomats of other Arab nations in Beijing were also invited to take part in the joint China-Saudi Arabia celebration.

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