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China and Saudi Arabia

1. Political Relations

Chinaand Saudi Arabiasigned the Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Establishment of Trade Representative's Office on November 11, 1988. Trade representatives from the two countries assumed their posts in 1989. On July 21,1990, Chinaand Saudi Arabiasigned a Communiqué and announced the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Chinese Consulate General in Jeddah opened on April 25, 1993. In April 1998 Chinaagreed on the establishment of the Consulate General in Hong Kongby Saudi Arabia.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, important exchanges of visit by the leaders of the two countries include:

Saudi Arabian official who visited China are as follows:Foreign Minister Faisal (in the capacity of King Fahd Ibn Abdul-Aziz's special envoy in September 1990), Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry Thonayan (in the capacity of King Fahd's special envoy in December 1990), Minister of Finance and National Economy Aba Al Khail (November 1992), Minister of Commerce Sulaiman Salaim (Mar 1994), Minister of Oil Hisham Nazer (May 1994), Chairman of Consultative Council Jubil (October1995), Minister of Oil Naimi (December1995 and October.1997), Minister of Finance and National Economy Assaf (February 1996), Deputy Foreign Minister Mansori (October 1996), Minister of Higher Education Anqari (October 1997), Minister of Commerce Faqih (Junuary1998 and September1999), Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister, Commander of the National Guards Abdullah (October 1998), Emir of Riyadh District Salman (April 1999), Minister of Information (February 2000), Minister of Agriculture and Water Conservancy (April, 2000), Second Vice Prime Minister of National Defense, Aviation Sultan Bin Abdul-Aziz (October 2000) and Vice Foreign Minister Madani (May 2001), Hamid, Chairman of the Consultative Conference of Saudi Arabia (April 2002), Minister of Higher Education Anqari (December 2002), and President of China-Saudi Friendship Association and Chairman of Saudi Arabian Council of Industry and CommerceHilashi (January 2003).

Major visits to Saudi Arabia by Chinese officials are as follows:State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen (July.and November 1990), Premier Li Peng (July 1991), President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries Han Xu (November 1992), Vice Premier Li Lanqing (June 1993), Vice Foreign Minister Tian Zengpei (June 1994 and January 1997), State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Luo Gan (August 1995), Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the CPC Central Committee, State Councilor and Defense Minister Chi Haotian (June 1996), Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Ye Xuanping (November 1996), Vice Foreign Minister Ji Peiding (May 1999), President Jiang Zemin (October 1999), Vice Governor of Hebei Province Guo Shichang (February 2001), Vice Minister of the General Administration of Sport Yu Zaiqing (April 2001), President Wang Tao of the Sino-Saudi Friendship Association (October 2001) Vice Governor of Hebei Province Guo Shichang (Feb. 2001),Vice Minister of the General Administration of Sport Yu Zaiqing (Apr. 2001), President Wang Tao of the Sino-Saudi Friendship Association (October 2001),State Councilor Wu Yi (April 2002), Vice Foreign Minister Yang Wenchan (October 2002), and Minister of Water Resources Wang Xucheng (October 2002).

The two countries founded Sino-Saudi Friendship Association and Saudi-Sino Friendship Association respectively in October 1997.

2. Trade Relations, and Economic and Technological Cooperation

The bilateral trade volume has achieved a steady growth since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Chinaand Saudi Arabia. The trade volume between the two countries grew from US$290 million in 1990 to US$5.1 billion in 2002, of which China's export was US$1.67 billion and import US$3.43 billion. China's main exports to Saudi Arabiaare garments, mechanical and electronic products, and textile, etc. Chinamainly imports from Saudi crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas, and primary plastics.

Since 1989, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade has held six Chinese export commodity fairs in Saudi Arabia. In February 1996, the first meeting of the Sino-Saudi Joint Commission on Economic, Trade and Technologic Cooperation was held in Beijing. In November 1999, the second such meeting was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In August 2001, the trade office of the Saudi Embassy in Chinawas established.

3. Exchanges in the Fields of Youth, Culture, and Information.

In May 2002, the Cultural Delegation of the Chinese Government headed by Vice Minister of Culture Zhou Heping visited Saudi Arabia.

In May 2002, the Chinese photo exhibition entitled "The World Heritages in China" was held at the King Fahd Cultural Center of Saudi Arabia.

In June 2002, the Chinese Information Delegation led by Deputy Director Wang Guoqing of the State Council Information Office visited Saudi Arabia.

4. Chinese Muslims' pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia

From 1955 to 1964, Chinasent Muslims every year to Saudi Arabiafor pilgrimage. The pilgrimage was suspended for a period of time. In 1979, Chinaresumed the pilgrimage activities.The number of people going to Saudi Arabiafor pilgrimage was about 5,000 in 2002 and the number is expected to reach 10,200 this year.

5. Communiqués and Important Bilateral Agreements Signed by the Two Countries

The Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Chinaand Saudi Arabia(July 21, 1990)

The Agreement on Economic, Trade, Investment and Technological Cooperation between Chinaand Saudi Arabia(November 1992)

The Exchange of Notes on Mutual Rendering of the Most Favored Nation Treatment between Chinaand Saudi Arabia(December 1993)

The Agreement on Mutual Promotion and Protection of Investment between Chinaand Saudi Arabia(February 1996)

The Memorandum of Economic and Trade Cooperation between Chinaand Saudi Arabia(October 1998)

The Agreement on Educational Cooperation; The Agreement on Radio and Television Cooperation between China's Radio and Television Bureau and Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Information; The Agreement on Information Exchange and Cooperation between China's Xinhua News Agency and Saudi Arabia News Agency;The Memorandum of Understanding on Petroleum Cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia (October 1999).

The Agreement on Water Conservancy Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of Chinaand the Government of Saudi Arabia (October 2002)

The Agreement on Cultural and Educational Cooperation between China and Saudi Arabia (December 2002)

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