Chinese President Xi Jinping will be on a trip to Saudi Arabia starting Wednesday, as he eyes strengthening ties with the Middle Eastern nation after Riyadh snubbed Washington's plea for oil two months ago.
What Happened: Xi will be in Saudi Arabia for many days, during which he will participate in a regional summit with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Arab leaders, Bloomberg reported.
The report said agreements worth $30 billion and energy and infrastructure deals would top the agenda, according to two people briefed on the plans.
China confirmed Xi's trip to Saudi on Wednesday morning (local time), a day after he led the nation in mourning the death of former president Jiang Zemin.
According to experts, Xi’s trip will allow China and Saudi to showcase their deepening ties and highlight just how far the U.S.-Saudi relations have sunk.
"This visit is the culmination or crowning of a deep strengthening in relations over the last few years," said Ali Shihabi, a Saudi commentator told the publication.
"The US is concerned about this but cannot slow this already strong relationship down," he added.
Although the Saudi-US relations have been fraying for some time, it hit bottom in October when U.S. President Joe Biden accused Riyadh of allying with Vladimir Putin on oil production cuts and threatened "consequences."
Meanwhile, a U.S. court dismissed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia's Salman that claimed he conspired to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi, citing Biden’s grant of immunity. The judge said the crown prince was entitled to sovereign immunity despite "credible allegations" that he was involved in the murder.
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