Riyadh, 7 Rabi’ul Akhir 1437/17 January 2016 (MINA) – Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday during which he will meet Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
The two leaders will discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral relations, in addition to reviewing the regional and global issues of mutual concern, International Islamic News Agency (IINA) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang, Xi is on a Middle East tour from Jan. 19 to 23 and would also be heading to Egypt and Iran, where he would meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.
Li Shaoxian, vice president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, a government think-tank, said China had to step up to the plate in the Middle East, but stressed China’s role would be different from other superpowers. “The Middle East is a touchstone for major powers,” Li said.
“Whether it is a graveyard depends on whether a country seeks hegemony,” Li said, adding that was not China’s intention.
A Chinese president has not visited Saudi Arabia since 2009 when Hu Jintao went, and Jiang Zemin was the last Chinese president to visit Iran, going in 2002. Ahead of Xi’s visit, China reportedly issued a policy paper on Arab countries expressing its willingness to coordinate development strategies with Arab states. (T/P006/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)