Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Saudi Arabia for a three-day visit that will include talks with the kingdom's rulers and other Arab leaders.
He will receive a warm welcome in Riyadh, where the Chinese flag alternates with the Saudi coat of arms on major routes.
China is a major buyer of oil from Saudi Arabia, a leading exporter of crude oil, and both sides seem eager to expand their relationship at a time of economic turmoil and geopolitical realignment.
The visit includes bilateral meetings with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as a summit with the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and a broader Sino-Arab summit.
The program represents a large-scale diplomatic effort between China and the Arab world since the founding of the PRC, said Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The official Saudi Press Agency said the kingdom accounted for more than 20 percent of Chinese investment in the Arab world between 2005 and 2020, making it the largest Arab country to receive Chinese investment during this period.