Gulf Arab officials are visiting Beijing for meetings with leaders from the world’s second largest economy, a leading consumer of oil and source of foreign investment.
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Dr. Nayef al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), stressed the importance of strengthening the Gulf-Chinese relations in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The GCC leader said that the visit will provide the opportunity to discuss areas of common interest including a 2004 economic agreement signed in Beijing and a memorandum of understanding signed in 2010.
Al-Hajraf also pointed out that the visit represents an opportunity to review the areas of Gulf-Chinese cooperation and to advance and strengthen friendship and cooperation.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday said the visits were expected to “deepen relations between the two sides.”
China and the US are increasingly jockeying for influence in the Middle East, where Chinese companies have found markets for goods and services ranging from highways to military drones.
China’s economy is heavily reliant on Middle Eastern oil and gas, and the two sides have “provided each other with firm support on issues concerning their core interests, and have promoted practical cooperation in various fields with fruitful results,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing Monday.
With The Associated Press
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