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A statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said late Monday that the new minister, Qin Gang, expressed his desire to strengthen economic ties with Saudi Arabia, and to establish a free trade area between China and the Gulf region as soon as possible.
Chen, who was appointed to the position recently, made the proposal during a phone conversation with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, in which he also said that China greatly appreciates the kingdom's firm and firm support on issues related to China's core interests.
He said the two sides should further expand cooperation in economy and trade, energy, infrastructure, investment, financial services and high-tech.
Besides, Chen pressed for further strengthening the China-Gulf strategic partnership and building the "China-Gulf Free Trade Area as soon as possible."
Prince Faisal said that Saudi Arabia considers relations with China a fundamental pillar of foreign relations, and that Saudi Arabia fully respects the one-China principle, according to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
It is noteworthy that China is the first trading partner for Saudi Arabia during the last five years, as the volume of intra-trade amounted to about 309 billion riyals in 2021, an increase of 39% over the year 2020, including 192 billion riyals of Saudi exports to China, including non-exports. Oil worth 41 billion riyals.
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