Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Saudi Arabia next week, where they plan to give him a gala reception that contrasts sharply with the reception given to US leader Joe Biden in June, The Gaurdian reported.
The low-key reception of the US president in the Saudi kingdom reflected strained relations between the two countries and personal animosity between Biden and de facto leader of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman.
While Xi Jinping will receive a warm welcome designed to strengthen ties between Beijing and Riyadh and China's image as an ally of Saudi Arabia as relations with Washington continue to drift.
Xi was first invited to Riyadh in March. His visit is likely to be the kingdom's most significant since the arrival of former President Donald Trump in May 2017, where he was greeted with silver swords, extravagant gifts and an invitation from Saudi and Arab royalty.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Chinese officials are planning Xi Jinping's possible trip to Southeast Asia in November, which could be the leader's first overseas trip since the Covid-19 pandemic and include a meeting with US President Joe Biden.
Biden's team has long sought and has yet to confirm a face-to-face meeting between the two leaders to ease tensions as the two countries bicker over Taiwan, trade and a host of other issues. The White House continues to work on this and Biden remains open for personal visits, including on the sidelines of the November G-20 meeting in Indonesia, the newspaper said, citing a source.