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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Li Huaxin for the 88th National Day of Saudi Arabia on Arab News
2018/09/24

I returned to Saudi Arabia as ambassador of China in May 2016 after my first post here 13 years ago. During the last two years, I have visited the cities and countryside of this country and been deeply impressed by the progress and development made by the Saudi people under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Arabia is a country of great importance both in the Middle East and the world - it is a member of the G20 and a blooming emerging market economy. Thanks to the guidance of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has achieved substantial progress during recent years: Its economic diversification is making steady progress, gross domestic product has increased, social reforms have moved forward, and social vitality has accumulated. We are more than pleased to witness these achievements and express our congratulations.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1990, the ties between China and Saudi Arabia have witnessed sustained and rapid development, with mutual political trust being enhanced, and were elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016. Saudi Arabia has been China's largest trading partner in West Asia and North Africa, and also serves as a natural partner of China in building the Belt and Road Initiative. Accordingly, China is recognized as the largest trading country of Saudi Arabia.

Relations between the leaders of China and Saudi Arabia have become increasingly close, with the mutual political trust being constantly deepened and pragmatic cooperation in all fields and important projects being advanced steadily. Carried by China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe, an optical payload designed by the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology has unveiled the moon surface; the Al-Mashaaer Al-Mugaddassah Metro line, constructed and run by the China Railway Construction Corporation, has served Muslims from across the world during the Hajj pilgrimage; and the Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company (Yasref) has been making a profit for three consecutive years.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir co-chaired in Beijing in July the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed in his speech at the opening ceremony of the meeting that the Chinese and the Arab sides should integrate respective development strategies to connect the Chinese and Arab dreams of national revival. This meeting has prompted new plans for the development of relations between China and Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Arab world.

Being a witness and participant of China-Saudi Arabia relations, I expect and sincerely hope that both countries can, under the care of their leaders and with the joint efforts of the two governments, further deepen their mutual political trust. They can also activate the roles of the China-Saudi Arabia high-level joint committee; strengthen the in-depth integration between Vision 2030 and the Belt and Road Initiative; coordinate and promote practical bilateral cooperation in all fields so as to raise the strategic partnership to higher levels and wider scopes; and inject new impetus into the strategic partnership of comprehensive cooperation and common development between China and Arab countries.

On the occasion of its 88th National Day, I wish the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia long-lasting prosperity and the people of Saudi Arabia happiness and health.

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