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China-Saudi Arabia ties make new progress amid COVID-19 pandemic

Updated: Feb 02,2021 08:18 AM    Xinhua

BEIJING — State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Jan 31 that the bilateral relations between China and Saudi Arabia have made new progress while facing the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wang made the remarks during a phone conversation with his Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud.

Noting that the year 2020 has been a very extraordinary year, Wang said China and Saudi Arabia have been working hand in hand to help each other fight the pandemic, and their relations have made new progress.

The two countries' heads of state talked over phone three times, in which they firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns, pledged to join hands to fight the pandemic and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, which has demonstrated what comprehensive strategic partnership was meant to be, he said.

China and Saudi Arabia should earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and constantly enrich the connotation of the bilateral ties, he said.

China will continue to support Saudi Arabia to follow the path of development suited to its national conditions and to promote economic diversification as well as social reform, Wang said.

The two sides should make good preparations for the China-Arab summit to ensure its full success, work together to build a China-Arab community with a shared future, he said, adding that the two countries also need to work together to advance practical cooperation in various fields and press ahead with the early completion of the China-Gulf Cooperation Council free trade zone, he said.

Wang said that China attaches great importance to Saudi Arabia's important influence in the region and understands Saudi Arabia's reasonable concerns in safeguarding the security of its own and that of the Gulf.

China condemns attacks on civilians and civilian facilities in Saudi Arabia, supports Saudi Arabia's efforts to maintain security and stability, and opposes external interference, unilateral bullying and terrorism, Wang said.

He noted that China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Saudi Arabia on the situations of the Middle East and the Gulf, as will as on regional hot topics, so as to jointly promote regional peace and stability.

Faisal, for his part, thanked China for supporting the measures taken by Saudi Arabia to maintain its security and stability, and agreed with Wang's views on promoting cooperation between the two countries.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Saudi Arabia have overcome difficulties and joined hands to move forward, with great progress being made in their cooperation in various fields, he said, adding that it reflects the deep and robust friendship between the two countries and reveals the essence of their comprehensive strategic partnership.

Faisal said that Saudi Arabia attaches great importance to its relations with China, and continues to give priority to the Saudi-China relationship.

Saudi Arabia is willing to work with China to firmly support each other politically, strengthen mutual benefit, win-win and interconnectivity in the economic field, and jointly prepare for the China-Arab summit, so as to make every effort to push the strategic relations between the two countries to a higher level, Faisal said. 

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