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  Saudi King seeks to link ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ with belt & road initiative
BEIJING, Mar 16 (INP): Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived in Beijing for a state visit which will last until Saturday, a trip experts said signals Saudi Arabia's determination to treat China as a reliable and strong partner at a time Saudi-US ties are experiencing difficulties.The king's massive delegation is comprised of about 1,500 people including 25 princes and 10 ministers. "This visit is not a normal diplomatic event but a strategic diplomatic move connected with Saudi Arabia's future, Hua Liming, former Chinese ambassador to Iran and the UAE, told the Global Times.The key mission of the king's visit to China is to establish a linkage between the "Saudi Vision 2030" strategy and China's One Belt and One Road initiative, said Liu Zhongmin, a professor at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University.Chinese President Xi Jinpingin 2013 proposed the initiative aimed at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes."Saudi Arabia wants to reduce its reliability on oil production, boost industrialization and improve its infrastructure, which are the key components of 'Saudi Vision 2030,' while China has outstanding capability in infrastructure construction," Hua said, so the foundation of Sino-Saudi cooperation is solid and reliable.Saudi Ambassador to China Turki Bin Mohamed Al-Mady said Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to China's Belt and Road initiative, reported the Xinhua News Agency."The king's visit shows that China and Saudi Arabia enjoy a close relationship and share broad common interests," the ambassador said.He revealed that during the king's visit, the two sides will discuss enhancing cooperation in such areas as culture, economy, trade, technology, security and defense. They are expected to sign several agreements and memoranda on education, investment, transfer of technology, industry and trade.According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Saudi Arabia remains China's leading supplier of crude oil and the largest trading partner in West Asia. China is the largest trading partner of Saudi Arabia. Military cooperation between the two countries has also moved forward steadily.The king's trip to Asia, especially to China and Japan has another motive - to tell the US that Saudi Arabia can forge new, strong partnerships in Asia, Hua said."Apart from energy cooperation, infrastructure and investment are also important for Riyadh, and both China and Japan are good in this area," said Yin Gang, a researcher at the Institute of West Asian and African Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Compared to the US, the EU and Russia, China has an advantage as it has no enemies in the region," Yin stressed.INP/AH
Today's INP Pakistan Stories
PM inaugurates first unit of Sahiwal Coal Power Project
News Image   SAHIWAL, May 25 (INP): Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated the first 660-megawatt unit of Sahiwal Coal Power Project. NMore
updated 12 minutes ago
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India detains three Pakistanis for incomplete travel documents
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