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Saudi Arabian king to visit China
www.chinaview.cn 2006-01-21 00:29:06

    BEIJING, Jan. 20 (Xinhuanet) -- Saudi Arabian Ambassador designate to China Saleh Alhegeian said here Friday that King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz's forthcoming China tour will be a visit worth expecting.

    The Saudi Arabian king will start a three-day state visit to China on Sunday at the invitation of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

    Saleh told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that it will be the king's first ever trip to China since the two countries forged diplomatic relations in 1990, and also his first official visit abroad since he succeeded to the throne.

    "Undoubtedly, his visit will be paid before the Chinese lunar new year, which fully shows that Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to its friendship with China," said Saleh.

    Over the past few years, the two countries have enjoyed frequent cooperation, especially in the economic and trade area.

    In 2005, the two-way trade volume rocketed 59 percent year on year to 14.5 billion U.S. dollars, about five times that of 2000.

    Saleh said the visit will become a new milestone in developing the friendly relations between China and Saudi Arabia.

    As two important nations in the world, China and Saudi Arabia will open new areas of cooperation and continue to strengthen exchanges in diplomacy, economy and trade, said Saleh.

    "The closer contacts and cooperation between the two countries will surely exert a great influence on international society," he added.

    According to Saleh, Saudi Arabia is abundant in resources and oil reserves. China imports about 450,000 barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia daily, accounting for 14 percent of its overall oil import.

    At present, an oil refining project jointly invested by Saudi Arabian and Chinese companies has been put into production. Last year, Chinese enterprises won the bid for the construction projects with a total contract sum up to billions of U.S. dollars in Saudi Arabia, covering the fields of cement-production, telecommunication and infrastructure construction.

    During his visit, the king will exchange views with Chinese leaders on further expanding bilateral cooperation in economic and trade area and some agreements might be signed, said Saleh.

    "We are looking forward to more and more cooperation between the two nations," Saleh added. Enditem

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