China-Saudi Arabia Ties: Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli: Cooperation entering new era
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli is in Saudi Arabia and has met with the Saudi king and crown prince -- reaching consensus on cooperation in the fields of energy, finance and industrial capacity. The two countries have agreed to set up a 20 billion US dollar investment fund, and share the profits on a 50-50 basis. The first batch of projects to get a boost from closer ties include a sea water desalination project, a Chinese industry park along Saudi Arabia's southern border and a power plant in the western part of the country. Both sides have also agreed to work together on petrochemical projects and security matters. Zhang said cooperation is entering a new stage and that both sides are negotiating a plan to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Saudi growth strategy, the 2030 vision. The Saudi growth strategy was put forward last year in a bid to diversify the country's economy which is heavily dependent on oil.