Chinese Ambassador to the Kingdom Yu Xing Zhi, in a statement published today in both Al-Okaz and Al-Riyadh, said the visit to China of Crown Prince Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard, constitutes a landmark in relations between the two countries. It will provide an opportunity for Chinese officials to exchange views with the Crown Prince on bilateral relations and also on various regional and international issues of concern to the two countries. The Ambassador went on to say that in commercial and other economic matters, the two countries have a balanced relationship, and prospects for further cooperation, especially in the oil industry, are very bright. In 1990, the trade exchanged between them amounted to U.S. $ 290 million, and this figure grew at an annual rate of 30 percent until it reached U.S. $ 1.68 billion in 1997, with Chinese exports to the Kingdom amounting to U.S. $ 854 million and Saudi exports to China reaching U.S. $ 826 million. He added that the Kingdom has become China's biggest trading partner in the Middle East and North Africa region. Yu Xing Zhi noted that not only have exchanges in the fields of culture, sports and media increased recently, but over 10,000 Chinese Muslims performed Hajj last year.