People's Daily - January 19, 2016
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Saudi Arabia will
significantly deepen bilateral ties in politics, economy, society and
culture, Salman Aldossary, editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, a major
Saudi Arabian newspaper, told the People’s Daily on the eve of Xi’s
Middle East trip.
Saudi Arabia, now China’s largest trading partner in West Asia, will be the first stop of Xi’s trip.
“Xi’s upcoming Saudi Arabia visit is of historic significance,” the editor-in-chief added.
China and Saudi Arabia develop their economic and trade ties rapidly in recent years. ICBC, China’s largest bank by total assets opened its branch in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia on June 4, 2015. It is the first China-funded bank in the country. (Photo: Xinhua) Salman said that to diversify its economy, Saudi Arabia has increased investment in China and their mutually beneficial cooperation is on the “fast track.” “As China grows its industry and technology rapidly, Saudi Arabia hopes to intensify its ties with China,” he added. Hailing the importance of China’s proposal to build the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the editor-in-chief noted that it not only tightened economic, trade and cultural ties between China and the nations along the routes, but also facilitated infrastructure construction and currency circulation. “Thanks to its geographic position and dominance of the regional economy, Saudi Arabia carries significant weight in the routes,” Salman added. He also appreciated the newly-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), saying that the bank built to help Asian countries with infrastructure construction now receive more worldwide support.