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China's Xi Jinping Arrives In Saudi Arabia On 3-Day State Visit

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Saudi Arabia this week for a pair of regional summits, as efforts to jump-start economic growth are hampered by strict anti-Covid-19 measures

Photo Credit : China Daily


Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. He will attend a pair of regional summits, as efforts to jump-start economic growth are hampered by strict anti-Covid-19 measures.

The Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that Xi would attend the inaugural China-Arab States Summit as well as a meeting with the leaders of the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

His official visit to Saudi Arabia will conclude on Saturday.

China has the world's second-largest economy and is a significant source of outward investment.

To meet the massive demand, it imports half of its oil, half of which comes from Saudi Arabia, amounting to tens of billions per year.

China's economic growth had been steadily declining for years before rolling lockdowns were imposed across the country in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chinese economic growth rebounded to 3.9 per cent year on year in the three months ending in September, up from 2.2 per cent in the first half of the year, but still falling far short of the government's target.

Covid-19 infection rates in China are lower than in the United States and other major countries.

However, the ruling party is sticking to the zero-Covid policy, which calls for isolating every case, while other governments are relaxing travel restrictions and attempting to live with the virus.

China's ruling Communist Party shares many of Saudi Arabia's and other Gulf states' authoritarian tendencies, shielding Beijing from criticism over its harsh policies toward Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

More than a million people have been detained and they claim they have been forced to denounce Islam and swear allegiance to Xi and the party.

Beijing refutes the allegations, claiming that it has been providing job training and ridding Muslims of extremist, separatist and terroristic tendencies.

Xi's trip to Saudi Arabia is another step toward restoring his global profile after spending most of the pandemic inside China.

Xi was given a third five-year term in October, but street protests against zero-Covid policies last month were the most significant public challenge to his rule, possibly prompting some measures to be relaxed.

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saudi arabia xi jinping COVID-19 economic slowdown