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During the Saudi Arabia-China summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the kingdom’s integral role in stabilizing the global oil markets, and Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) affirmed Riyadh’s support for Beijing’s “one-China” policy.
The kingdom is China’s primary oil supplier, as Xi has expressed that Saudi Arabia is essential, given the impact of the current energy crisis caused by the US and its allies’ sanctions on Russia.
The crisis has severely hindered EU states’ economy and exacerbated the food crisis in less developed countries in Eastern Europe and West Asia.
In return, MbS affirmed his support for Xi’s “one-China” policy, which indicates that China’s territory must be governed exclusively by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as opposed to allowing Taiwan and Hong Kong to break away from Beijing, a move that serves US interests.
Xi met with Saudi officials for bilateral talks on 8 December, and several delegates from regional and African Arab states arrived in Riyadh. The kingdom will host a summit for the GCC coalition of countries, and another summit for Arab nations.
The OPEC+ coalition has been able to maintain oil a steady oil output since its last meet-up on 4 December, as markets struggle to assess the impact of a G7 price cap on Russian oil.
Local reports added that the two states would explore investment avenues in petrochemicals and bolster cooperation in the nuclear field, renewable energy, project development, and technology. Saudi Aramco and China’s Shandong Energy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Saudi-China summit.
China’s foreign ministry described its president’s visit to the kingdom as the “largest-scale diplomatic activity between China and the Arab world” since its current government’s formation.
Washington responded to Xi by describing the move as China’s recent attempt to expand its influence with the Global South.
In August, Saudi Arabia’s Gulf ally, the UAE, also affirmed its support for Beijing’s “one-China” policy regarding Taiwan.
This came in the wake of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s “provocative visit” to Taiwan.
The UAE’s statement said: “The UAE affirmed its support for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the importance of respecting the ‘one China’ principle while calling for adherence to relevant United Nations resolutions.”