Visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao (L
front) and Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz (R front) attend a
welcoming ceremony upon Hu's arrival at the airport in Riyadh, Saudi
Arabia, Feb. 10, 2009. (Xinhua/Ju Peng) Photo Gallery>>>
RIYADH, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu
Jintao arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday at the start of his "trip of friendship and
cooperation" with Saudi Arabia and Africa.
"With the joint efforts, I am convinced that the
visit will be a complete success and the China-Saudi Arabia strategic friendship
will be further developed," Hu said in a written statement on arrival at Riyadh
Hu was greeted by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin
Abdul-Aziz ina welcoming ceremony at the airport.
During his two-day visit, Hu will hold talks with
King Abdullah, to exchange views on international and regional issues of common
Hu will also meet with Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdul Rahman Al-Attiya to discuss cooperation between China and GCC member countries.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (L front) and Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz (R front) review the honor guard during a welcoming ceremony upon Hu's arrival at the airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 10, 2009. (Xinhua/Ju Peng) Photo Gallery>>>
In recent years, the China-Saudi strategic friendship
has advanced, yielding fruitful results in politics, economy, trade, and
culture, Hu said in the statement.
"China attaches great importance to bilateral
relations with Saudi Arabia and is ready to work with the Saudi side to deepen
pragmatic cooperation which benefits the two peoples," Hu said.
Hu's last trip to Saudi Arabia was in April 2006,
three months after King Abdullah paid a historic visit to Beijing. The king's
visit was the first by a Saudi head of state to China since the two countries
established diplomatic relations in 1990.
After the magnitude-8.0 earthquake hit western China
and claimed nearly 90,000 lives in May 2008, King Abdullah became the biggest
donor to China, offering a cash donation of 50 million U.S. dollars and
materials worth 10 million U.S. dollars.
Saudi Arabia is now China's largest trading partner
in West Asia and Africa. In 2008, two-way trade between China and Saudi Arabia
amounted to 41.8 billion U.S. dollars.
Saudi Arabia is a member of the GCC , which plays an
important role in maintaining peace and stability in the Gulf region and
boosting regional economic development, as well as contributing to international
The GCC, established in 1981, consists of six Arab countries, namely Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R front) is greeted by Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz during a welcoming ceremony upon Hu's arrival at the airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 10, 2009. (Xinhua/Ju Peng) Photo Gallery>>>
Saudi Arabia is the first leg of Hu's first overseas
trip in 2009. The week-long visit will also take the president to Mali, Senegal,
Tanzania and Mauritius.
"Hu's visit is aimed at promoting China-Saudi
strategic friendly relations, boosting the China-Africa new strategic
partnership and consolidating the China-Africa traditional friendship,"
Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Zhai Jun said ahead of Hu's visit.
Enhancing solidarity and cooperation with African
countries has always been an important component of China's independent foreign
policy of peace.
"The past year witnessed significant progress in
China-Africa relations. The two sides maintained high-level exchanges and
deepened strategic mutual trust," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in
an interview with Xinhua last month.
He said that the eight policy measures of pragmatic
cooperation with Africa announced by President Hu at the Beijing Summit of the
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in November 2006 were carried out steadily.
Official figures show that the China-Africa trade
volume hit an all time high in 2008, reaching 106.8 billion U.S. dollars.
"The year 2009 is an important year for China-Africa
relations to continue to move forward and will create new development
opportunities for the bilateral ties. The Chinese leaders will continue to take
the development of relations with Africa as a top priority of Chinese
diplomacy," the minister said.
RIYADH, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Saudi Arabia shares weal
or woe with China whatever in the face of the devastating earthquake or the
revelry of the Beijing Olympic Games, Saudi Ambassador to China Yahya bin
Abdul-Kareem Al-Zaid told Xinhua in an interview on Monday.
He believes that Chinese President Hu Jintao's
upcoming visit to his country will successfully push forward the friendly
cooperation between the two countries in all fields. Full story
RIYADH, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu
Jintao's scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reflects the intimate
partnership of the two countries, Saudi-China Friendship Association Chairman
Abdullah-Rahman Jourish said here on Monday.
In an interview with Xinhua, Jourish said the
Saudi-China Friendship Association had witnessed the rapid development of the
friendly relations of the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two
countries since they established diplomatic ties in 1990. Full story