On January 14, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh.
China and Saudi Arabia have treated each other as equals with respect and their cooperation has been fruitful since the establishment of diplomatic ties 22 years ago, said Wen. In recent years, despite the fact that international and regional situation became ever complicated and volatile, the two countries have strengthened high-level exchanges and promoted political mutual trust, said Wen, adding that the two sides have always demonstrated mutual understanding and support on issues involving their core interests and of major concern. The premier said the decision to lift bilateral ties to an even higher level within the strategic framework has shown the two nations' firm commitment to jointly face challenges and protect common interests as the world situation is undergoing profound changes. China would like to work with the Saudi side in deepening exchanges and cooperation in various aspects so as to benefit the two peoples and promote world peace and development, Wen added.
Wen pointed out that both China and Saudi Arabia are at an important stage of development and strengthening pragmatic cooperation has broad prospects. He said the two sides should work together to expand trade of crude oil and natural gas and energy-related cooperation so as to deepen their energy partnership. Wen also urged the two countries to enhance guidance and promote investment cooperation. The Chinese government encourages competent and reputable Chinese companies to participate in Saudi Arabia's infrastructure construction such as railway, sea ports, electricity and telecommunications, he said. The two nations could also enhance security and law enforcement cooperation and promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges in areas like education and sports, as well as between the two nations' youths.
On behalf of the Saudi government and people, Nayef extended warm welcome for Wen's visit. He said Saudi Arabia and China enjoy a time-honored history of exchanges, adding that the Saudi people have friendly feelings toward the Chinese people and expect even better bilateral ties. With joint efforts, bilateral ties have moved forward continuously with remarkable achievements in bilateral cooperation, he said, adding that the relationship has bright prospects. Nayef said Saudi Arabia is satisfied with the development of bilateral ties and is willing to further boost political mutual trust with China, expand bilateral cooperation in economy and trade, energy, infrastructure, culture, press, and security, promote friendship between the two peoples, and lift bilateral ties to a higher level.