China's Xi says wants to deepen energy cooperation with Arab states

AFP , Thursday 30 May 2024

Chinese leader Xi Jinping said Thursday he would seek to deepen energy cooperation with Arab states as he addressed a forum of regional leaders and diplomats in Beijing.

China solar panels
File photo: Workers cleaning solar panels work on the rooftop of the factory of energy equipment manufacture Iraeta on the outskirts of Jinan in eastern China s Shandong province on March 21, 2024. AP


China, which has ramped up diplomatic exchanges with Middle Eastern leaders in recent years, is a key customer for oil-exporting countries in the region.

"China will further enhance strategic cooperation with the Arab side on oil and gas, and integrate supply security with market security," Xi said, according to a readout of his speech by the foreign ministry.

He added: "China is ready to work with the Arab side on new energy technology R&D and equipment production.

"We will support Chinese energy companies and financial institutions in participating in renewable energy projects in Arab states with total installed capacity of over three million kilowatts."

In late 2022, Xi paid a visit to Saudi Arabia to hold talks on deepening energy cooperation. China is the kingdom's leading purchaser of oil.

Beijing is this week hosting Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and several other Arab leaders at a forum in which Israel's war on Gaza is expected to be front and centre.

China's expanding presence in the Middle East is troubling leaders in Washington, as the US becomes increasingly isolated because of its unwavering support for Israel amid its onslaught of Palestinians in Gaza.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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