China's Xi wants to take Saudi partnership to 'new level' - Xinhua

In a phone call, the two leaders discussed boosting cooperation in energy, trade and technology

  
Image for illustrative purposes. Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 4, 2016.

Image for illustrative purposes. Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China September 4, 2016.

REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

BEIJING- China's President Xi Jinping told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday that Beijing was willing to push its strategic partnership with Riyadh "to a new level", the official Chinese Xinhua news agency reported.

In a phone call, the two leaders discussed boosting cooperation in energy, trade and technology, Xinhua added.

China's crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia, its top supplier, rose 8.8% in March from a year earlier, according to Chinese customs data released earlier on Tuesday. 

Describing China as a "trusted brother", the Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia was willing to promote a "strategic link-up" between its Vision 2030 plan to diversify its economy away from oil and Xi's signature Belt and Road trade and infrastructure initiative, according to Xinhua.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; writing by Tom Daly; Editing by Andrew Heavens) ((tom.daly@thomsonreuters.com; +86 10 5669 2119;))

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