Arab officials to conclude four-day China working trip

Officials from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will conclude their four-day visit to China

Reuters

Photo: Reuters

Officials from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will conclude their four-day visit to China today, following recent visits by Turkish and Iranian officials.

While China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi formalized China’s economic support to Iran with his Iranian counterpart in a 25-year agreement, the meetings with members of the Gulf states addressed worries over unrest in oil-rich Kazakhstan.

In the short-term, the unrest could affect Sino-Saudi trade in oil as an energy-scarce China relies on Saudi Arabian imports through the all-important and heavily scrutinized Strait of Malacca.

China may consider bolstering Kazakhstan’s law enforcement technology if it deems the Central Asian branch of its BRI projects enough at risk, however China has yet to military intervene in any BRI states.

Further, both countries jointly finance the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and in the medium-term may expand their focus into new energy, e-commerce, law enforcement and archaeological projects.

With Saudi Arabia both the only G20 representative in the Middle East and the main leader of the GCC, expect China and Saudi Arabia to dominate discussions of regional economic growth with projects such as the China-GCC Free Trade Zone. The Zone would boost trade in agricultural goods and services.

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