China's Xi speaks with Saudi king: State media

China's President Xi Jinping and Saudi Arabia's king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud attend the Road to the Arab Republic - the closing ceremony of the artifacts unearthed in Saudi Arabia - at China's National Museum in Beijing, China, on March 16, 2017
China's President Xi Jinping and Saudi Arabia's king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud attend the Road to the Arab Republic - the closing ceremony of the artifacts unearthed in Saudi Arabia - at China's National Museum in Beijing, China, on March 16, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China's resolve to deepen strategic cooperation with Saudi Arabia will not change, no matter how the international and regional situations alter, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Saudi King Salman in a phone conversation on Thursday (Nov 16).

China supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and achieve  greater development, the official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

Xi was cited by Xinhua as saying China and Saudi Arabia are comprehensive strategic partners with deepening strategic mutual trust and win-win cooperation.

China also wants to work with Saudi Arabia to advance the strategic integration of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and 
Saudi Arabia’s development blueprint Saudi Vision 2030, Xi said, adding that both sides will work together in various areas through the China-
Saudi Arabia High-level Joint Committee.

The BRI, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, was proposed by Xi in 2013, with the aim of building a trade, investment and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

Saudi Arabia, in a bid to diversify its oil-dependent economy, has announced the Saudi Vision 2030 growth strategy last year, which includes privatising some state-owned companies.

The country's recent mass purge of elite figures accused of corruption has raised much concern. The unprecedented round-up has seen more than 200 princes, ministers and businessmen detained in what has widely been seen as a move by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to consolidate his power ahead of his accession to the throne.