Saudi Arabia Signs Investment Deals Worth $10 Billion With China

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
June 12, 2023Middle East
Saudi Arabia Signs Investment Deals Worth $10 Billion With China
Saudi Arabia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud attends joint press conference with Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and Foreign Minister of Ukraine in Kyiv on Feb. 26, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Genya Savilov /POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia and China on Sunday signed 30 investment agreements totaling about $10 billion across various sectors to deepen their bilateral relations, according to the Saudi Arabian Investment Ministry.

The agreements were signed during the Arab-China Business Conference in Riyadh, which covered the technology, renewables, agriculture, real estate, minerals, supply chains, tourism, and health care sectors.

“The crown prince has continually amplified efforts to enhance the long-standing and advanced partnership between the Arab world and China in all sectors,” Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said.

Among the accords is a $5.6 billion deal between the Saudi Investment Ministry and Chinese electric car maker Human Horizons to collaborate on automotive research and manufacturing, Arab News reported.

In addition, Saudi railway company SABATCO signed a $250 million deal with Chinese state-owned rolling stock manufacturer CRRC to build “rail wagons and wheels in the kingdom,” according to the report.

While speaking at the conference, Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said that his country seeks to collaborate with China in various sectors rather than compete with the world’s biggest energy consumer.

In March, state oil giant Saudi Aramco announced two major deals to raise its multibillion-dollar investment in China and bolster its rank as China’s top provider of crude.

The two deals were the biggest announced since Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia in December, when he called for oil trade in yuan, a move that would weaken the U.S. dollar’s dominance.

When asked about criticism of the countries’ bilateral relationship, Salman said: “I actually ignore it because … as a business person … now you will go where opportunity comes your way.”

“We don’t have to be facing any choice which has to do with [saying] either with us or with the others,” he added.

US-Saudi Arabia Relations

The conference came days after a visit by U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken to discuss economic and security cooperation. Blinken said that Washington was not asking Saudi Arabia to choose a side between the United States and China.

“With regard to China, we’ve also been very clear we’re not asking anyone to choose between the United States and China,” Blinken said during a joint press conference with Farhan on June 8.

“We are simply trying to demonstrate the benefits of our partnership and the affirmative agenda that we bring in what we’re trying to do,” he added.

Farhan said he hoped that an agreement could be reached for the United States to aid Saudi Arabia’s bid to generate nuclear power.

“We would very much prefer to be able to have the United States as one of the bidders for that program. There are others that are bidding, and obviously we would like to build our program with the best technology in the world, and that will require a certain agreement to be in place,” the foreign minister stated.

U.S.-Saudi relations have deteriorated since the 2018 murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

They worsened after the Biden administration took office in early 2021 and released a U.S. intelligence assessment that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman approved Khashoggi’s killing, which the crown prince denied.

The Biden administration on Nov. 17 suggested that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince be granted immunity from a U.S. civil lawsuit filed against him in connection with the slaying of Khashoggi.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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