China-Saudi deals worth billions

Saudi King arriving in Kuala Lumpur in February

Saudi Arabia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world's second-largest oil market, after losing market share to Russian Federation past year, by working mostly with China's top three state oil firms.

Next week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits China.

King Salman's visit comes as Riyadh aims to promote investment opportunities in the kingdom, including the sale of a stake in state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Arabia may become a leading auto manufacturer if the kingdom's new agency can demonstrate the feasibility of producing vehicles and parts for one of the world's largest auto companies.

The agreements between Saudi Arabia and China will cover a variety of issues, ranging from energy to space technology.

The government of Maldives announced the postponement of the Saudi king's visit in an emergency press conference held at the President's Office on Friday morning. Xi visited both Saudi Arabia and Iran in January a year ago.

It is expected to witness the signature of agreements in five fields (political, economic, education, humanitarian and cultural), given that the deals comply with the Saudi Vision 2030 and the One Belt, One Road initiative (OBOR).

- Saudi Aramco and Norinco Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a refinery and chemical facilities in Panjin City.

It was a big hit for Saudi's oil-based economy.

China had long taken a backseat to disputes in the Middle East but especially with the United States' global diplomatic stance under President Donald Trump unclear, Xi started taking a new approach with steps that include hosting talks between the opposing parties in the Syrian conflict. The two already have a joint project - a refinery in Tianjin in northeastern China.

The Saudi king is on a state visit to China from Wednesday to Saturday, and some portions of his trip overlap with a visit from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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