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Beijing, Saudi Arabia agree to more oil cooperation, exports to China

Beijing, Saudi Arabia agree to more oil cooperation, exports to China thumbnail

China and Saudi Arabia will increase their cooperation in the oil sector, including in Saudi oil exports to China, the two countries said in a joint communique issued on Saturday at the end of Saudi Arabian King Salman’s visit to Beijing.

The world’s largest oil exporter has been looking to cement ties with the world’s second-largest economy.

After losing market share to Russia last year, Saudi Arabia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world’s second-largest oil market, by working mostly with China’s top three state oil firms.

“Both countries are willing to raise their level of cooperation in the oil sector, including supplying Saudi oil to the continuously growing Chinese market,” the two said in a statement issued by China’s official Xinhua news agency.

“Both sides stress the importance of stability in world oil markets to the global economy … China appreciates Saudi Arabia being a safe and dependable oil supplier to the world market, and the role it plays in ensuring the stability of the global oil market,” it said.

Salman oversaw the signing of deals worth as much as $65 billion on the first full day of his visit to Beijing on Thursday.

China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite its reliance on the region for oil. However, it has been trying to get more involved in efforts to end Syria’s six-year-old civil war, where Riyadh supports rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad.

Last year, China also offered support for Yemen’s government, which is backed by a Saudi-led Gulf Arab coalition in a war against the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement that controls much of the country.

China has had to tread a careful line, though, as it also has close relations with Iran. Xi visited both Saudi Arabia and Iran in January last year.

The joint statement said both China and Saudi Arabia stressed their support for Yemen’s legal government.

China’s renewed diplomatic push with the Middle East continues next week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits China.

Diplomatic sources say China is trying to play the role of “honest broker” in the Middle East, as it lacks the historical baggage of the Americans or the Europeans.


5 Comments on "Beijing, Saudi Arabia agree to more oil cooperation, exports to China"

  1. Midnight Oil on Sat, 18th Mar 2017 12:48 pm 

    Suppose the meeting with Cheeto Trumpet didn’t go too well…best to get new “friends”.

  2. rockman on Sat, 18th Mar 2017 2:53 pm 

    MO – As they say: Money talks and bullsh*t walks. LOL.

  3. makati1 on Sat, 18th Mar 2017 6:32 pm 

    The KSA is hedging it’s bets and China is keeping the oil flowing East. Meanwhile, the FSA is arguing over bathrooms and ‘safe’ spaces.

  4. Cloggie on Sat, 18th Mar 2017 6:35 pm 

    Under Trump America is withdrawing from hegemony and KSA draws the conclusion and is on the lookout for a new dad.

  5. Cloggie on Sat, 18th Mar 2017 6:48 pm 

    OT – Merkel visited Trump this week and the former was received formally correct. But Trump made sure that there was one moment when he made it clear for the entire world what he thought of her.

    German right-wingers are jubilant about the humiliating gesture:

    Merkel: “shall we shake hands”
    Trump: “I do not shake hands with traitors of their own population”

    Merkel is the last representative of the dying liberal world order, backed up by US hegemony. Merkel is desperate to remain the loyal vassal, but the former overlord is no longer willing (able) to provide benevolent guidance. All Trump says is that Europe needs to invest in defense because soon your own defense is all you will have.

    Could have been sung by Merkel.

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