China, Saudi Arabia pledge to promote exchanges
RIYADH - China and Saudi Arabia pledged to work together to further expand all-around exchanges and cooperation as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Saturday unfolded his official visit to the Middle East kingdom.
China and Saudi Arabia have treated each other as equals with respect and their cooperation has been fruitful since the establishment of diplomatic ties 22 years ago, said Wen while meeting Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
In recent years, despite the fact that international and regional situation became ever complicated and volatile, the two countries have strengthened high-level exchanges and promoted political mutual trust, said Wen, adding that the two have always demonstrated mutual understanding and support on issues involving their core interests and of major concern.
The premier said the decision to lift bilateral ties to an even higher level has shown the two nations' firm commitment to jointly face challenges and protect common interests as the world situation is undergoing profound changes.
China would like to work with the Saudi side in deepening exchanges and cooperation in various aspects so as to benefit the two peoples and promote world peace and development, Wen added.
He said the two sides should expand trade of crude oil and natural gas and energy-related cooperation as to deepen their energy partnership.
Wen also asked the two countries to promote investment cooperation. The Chinese government encourages well-established Chinese companies to participate in Saudi Arabia's infrastructure construction such as railway, sea ports, electricity and telecommunications, he said.
The two nations could also enhance security and law enforcement cooperation and promote people-to-people exchanges in areas like education and sports, as well as between the two nations' youths.
Nayef said Saudi Arabia and China enjoy a time-honored history of exchanges, adding that the Saudi people have friendly feelings toward the Chinese people and expect even better bilateral ties.
With joint efforts, bilateral ties have moved forward continuously with remarkable achievements in bilateral cooperation, he said, added that the partnership has bright prospects.
Nayef said Saudi Arabia is willing to further boost political mutual trust with China, expand bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, energy, infrastructure, culture, press, and security, promote friendship between the two peoples, and lift bilateral ties to a higher level.
Wen arrived here on Saturday evening after a short official visit to Nepal on the same day.