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China’s President Xi Visits Saudi Arabia, Expected To Sign $29B in Agreements

China’s President Xi Jinping is set to arrive today, Wednesday, in Saudi Arabia for talks with Saudi and Arab leaders and to ink more than 20 initial agreements between the two governments, worth more than $29 billion. The Chinese president will participate in three summits during the visit: the Saudi-Chinese Summit, the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, and the Riyadh Arab-China Summit for Cooperation and Development. Saudi Arabia was the biggest recipient of Chinese investment in the Arab world between 2005 and 2020, at $196.9 billion. Xi reportedly will be greeted with what CNN describes as “the pomp and circumstance normally reserved for the kingdom’s most strategic ally, the United States.” US President Joe Biden received a less-than-enthusiastic welcome when he visited Riyadh over the summer. The effort to develop bilateral relations with China is part of Saudi Arabia’s “strategic plans to boost its bilateral relations and partnerships with all influential countries and international powers and to establish balanced relations with them to serve the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s objectives and contribute to protecting its interests,” according to the Saudi Press Agency.