January 27
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Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for a three-day visit. It is his first visit to the kingdom since 2016, AFP reported, citing Saudi state media.

The visit will include a bilateral summit chaired by Saudi Arabia's King Salman and attended by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Xi Jinping will also take part in a summit with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and talks with leaders of other Middle Eastern countries.

The Chinese leader's arrival coincided with heightened tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States on issues ranging from energy policy to regional security and human rights.

The latest blow to this longstanding partnership came in October, when OPEC+ agreed to cut production by two million barrels a day, which the White House said was tantamount to "joining Russia" in the war in Ukraine.

On Sunday, OPEC+ decided to maintain those cuts.

China is Saudi Arabia's largest buyer of crude oil, buying about a quarter of Saudi oil exports.

In addition to energy, analysts say the two countries' leaders should discuss potential deals that could lead to Chinese firms becoming more involved in the mega-projects that are central to Prince Mohammed's vision of diversifying Saudi Arabia's economy from oil.

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