Beijing, Feb 21 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in China on Thursday with an aim to strengthen economic ties.
Upon his arrival at the airport, the Saudi royal was received by China’s Deputy Chairman of Advisory and Political Council Khi Li Fung, Saudi Ambassador to China Turki Al-Madi and Chinese Ambassador to the Kingdom Li Huaxin along with several other officials, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The Saudi prince is due to meet Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Friday, before sitting down with President Xi Jinping in the afternoon, reports say.
Bin Salman visited India and Pakistan during his week-long trip, announcing new investments in energy and infrastructure, before arriving in China — Saudi Arabia’s biggest trading partner.
It is almost two years since his father, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, met Xi during a tour of the region in March 2017. At the time, both sides agreed to “step up cooperation in all areas”, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
Lately, the Crown Prince has struggled to rehabilitate his international reputation following the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last year. The royal has, however, denied any connection to the killing.
China is Saudi Arabia’s largest trade partner, outstripping nearby European nations and close ally, the US. In 2018, imports from Saudi Arabia reached $46 billion.