Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, ended his state visit to China yesterday with a tour of the ancient imperial city of Xian. Prior to his departure from Beijing, a joint communiqué was issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People's Republic of China, expressing mutual satisfaction over the development of their friendship and cooperation since diplomatic relations between them were established eight years ago.
In Beijing on Friday, Crown Prince Abdullah toured the imperial palaces, a large compound from which twenty-four emperors ruled China over a period of 583 years. Later, at a meeting with the Arab and Islamic ambassadors to China at his guest residence, he said that during his current world tour he represents all Arab and Islamic nations. He confirmed that he has been telling the leaders of the countries visited that everyone wants peace in the Middle East, and gave assurances that they have expressed understanding of the notion that Israel, which now rejects overtures of peace, is the one who would in the end benefit from peace.
In Xian, Crown Prince Abdullah toured the famous museum with its exhibit of tomb warriors and horses, more than 2,100 years old. In ancient times forty-three emperors ruled over the city of Xian; Xian Province now produces most of China's oil and petroleum products. In the visitors' book at the museum, Crown Prince Abdullah expressed appreciation for what he had seen, remarking: "Whoever sees this museum becomes aware of the richness and heritage of the Chinese people built up over all the years of their great history ….. and today we see the building of a new civilization."
At a reception in his honor, Crown Prince Abdullah stated: "Since early times, China has been known for its deep-rooted history and great civilization. It is also known for the hospitality and cordiality of the Chinese people towards their friends. There is no doubt that China is a great country known around the globe for the richness of its knowledge and civilization, especially your province whose imperial history, with its great men, are renowned." He went on to say: "I have sensed both from the Chinese president and from the Premier of the State Council the desire to enhance bilateral cooperation ….. We have identified trade and economic cooperation as an important avenue for strengthening the relations between our peoples. I wish your province and the friendly Chinese people every success."
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf yesterday signed with his Chinese counterpart a Memorandum of Understanding stipulating practical measures to be taken to enhance economic cooperation between the Kingdom and China in the areas of commerce, investment, mining, and petroleum, in addition to technical and technological cooperation. It also stipulates the formation of working teams assigned to complete their activities within six months and submit recommendations to the Chairman of the Saudi-Chinese Joint Commission, which will hold its next meeting in the first half of next year.