BEIJING: Chinese leader Xi Jinping is attending a pair of regional summits in Saudi Arabia this week amid efforts to kick-start economic growth weighed down by strict anti-COVID-19 measures.
The Foreign Ministry said Wednesday (Dec 7) that Xi will attend the inaugural China-Arab States Summit and a meeting with leaders of the six nations that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. His state visit to Saudi Arabia will end on Saturday.
China is the world’s second largest economy and a major source of outward investment. To fuel massive demand, it imports half its oil, of which half of those imports come from Saudi Arabia, amounting to tens of billions of dollars annually.
China’s economic growth had been on a steady decline for years and was dealt a major blow by rolling lockdowns imposed across the country as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chinese economic growth rebounded to 3.9 per cent over a year earlier in the three months ending in September, up from the first half of the year’s 2.2 per cent, but still well short of the government target.