China and Saudi Arabia sign $65bn in deals as King Salman meets Xi Jinping

China's President Xi Jinping (R) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud attend the Road to the Arab Republic at China's National Museum in Beijing, China, 16 March 2017Reuters

Saudi Arabia and China are to potentially make $65bn (£52bn) in deals as Saudi King Salman meets with the Chinese leader Xi Jinping following the signing of a memorandums of understanding between the two nations.

Among the deals is one such memorandum between giant state oil firm Saudi Aramco and China's North Industries Group Corp, Reuters reported.

The meeting between the leaders of the world's largest oil producer and its second largest economy come as King Salman makes a month-long tour of Asia to promote investment opportunities in the Gulf nation.

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The memorandums and letters of intent are reported to involve everything from energy to space. Saudi Arabia has sought to increase its oil sales to China, also the world's second-largest oil market, after losing some of its market share to Russia in 2016.

"For a long time, China and Islamic countries have respected each other and had win-win cooperation, and have created a model of the peaceful coexistence of different cultures," Xi said inside Beijing's Great Hall of the People.

Salman said in the meeting he hoped China could play an greater role in Middle East affairs. "Saudi Arabia is willing to work hard with China to promote global and regional peace, security and prosperity," he said.

King Salman began his Asian tour in Malaysia as part of a visit. He was in the country for four days The trip to Asia was the first such visit by a Saudi monarch in more than a decade.

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