International

As Xi Jinping Visits Saudi Arabia, Gulf Nations Seek Stronger China Ties


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In July 2004, China and the GCC introduced the launch of negotiations for a free-trade settlement.

Dubai:

Arab Gulf international locations, strategic companions of Washington, are bolstering ties with China as a part of an eastward flip that entails diversifying their fossil fuel-heavy economies.

As a Gulf-China summit takes place in Riyadh on Friday, AFP examines key areas of financial cooperation between the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council and the world’s second-largest financial system.

Energy

By 2020, China had risen to change into a main buying and selling associate with the GCC states, particularly within the discipline of vitality.

China imports hydrocarbons from Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which alone accounted for 17 p.c of the Asian big’s oil imports in 2021.

Qatar provides China with liquefied pure gasoline — commerce that has been bolstered by the worldwide vitality disaster ensuing from the battle in Ukraine.

In November, Qatar introduced a 27-year pure gasoline cope with China price greater than $60 billion, saying it was the longest such settlement thus far.

Free-trade talks

In July 2004, China and the GCC introduced the launch of negotiations for a free-trade settlement.

Nearly 20 years later, and after 9 rounds of talks, the events have but to clinch a last deal, regardless of pledging in January to “accelerate the process”.

Friday’s Gulf-China summit is extensively seen as a possibility to jumpstart the negotiations.

Chinese commerce relations are significantly robust with the UAE, which is the biggest Middle East marketplace for Chinese merchandise and is a significant export hub for Chinese items, particularly to the remainder of the Arab world.

Investment

Between 2005 and 2022, Chinese corporations invested greater than $107 billion in GCC states, in response to knowledge collected by the American Enterprise Institute.

The largest share of Chinese funding went to Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s greatest financial system.

Investments within the kingdom had been valued at round $49.6 billion over the previous 17 years, in response to the assume tank.

For its half, Saudi Arabia was the Twelfth-largest investor in China in 2019, with almost $2.3 billion, in response to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Gulf sovereign wealth funds are additionally more and more seeking to Asia.

In 2015, China and the UAE agreed to create a $10 billion joint funding fund. The UAE-China Joint Investment Cooperation Fund is managed by the Abu Dhabi state fund Mubadala and two Chinese state establishments.

Weapons and expertise

As Washington watches intently, the GCC has additionally turned to China for expertise and arms as a part of the area’s efforts to diversify its suppliers.

In February, the UAE mentioned it will buy 12 assault planes from China, a couple of weeks after threatening to cancel its buy of F-35s from the United States.

In March, Saudi Arabia and China signed an settlement to collectively develop navy drones within the oil-rich kingdom, in response to Saudi-owned media.

Eager to curb their dependence on hydrocarbon gross sales, GCC rulers are additionally turning to China for technological collaboration.

Since 2019, most GCC telecom corporations have signed 5G contracts with Huawei.

The agency is controversial in Europe and the United States over accusations that it’s near China’s navy and that its expertise might be used for espionage, fees Beijing has denied.

 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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