Saudi Crown Prince in China on Latest Stop of Asian Tour

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in China on Thursday on the latest stop of a sweep through Asia that seeks to boost relations with the kingdom's neighbors.

Prince Mohammed's visit follows trips to India and Pakistan, which send millions of laborers to Saudi Arabia and are seeking closer economic ties.

He is to meet Chinese officials, including President and ruling Communist Party leader Xi Jinping, on Friday, highlighting Saudi Arabia's importance as one of China's top oil suppliers and a market for its exports, including military drones.

The visit underscores China's attempts to balance its relationships in the Middle East, a major component of its "Belt and Road" initiative to link its markets to those in Asia, Africa and Europe through rail and road networks and infrastructure such as power stations and factories.

Prince Mohammed's visit to Beijing follows one earlier this week by a high-powered delegation from Iran.

Prince Mohammed is to visit South Korea after Beijing.

In New Delhi, he offered intelligence sharing and other cooperation with India in fighting extremism and terrorism, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi tackles rising tensions with Pakistan following a suicide bombing last week on Indian paramilitary soldiers in disputed Kashmir.


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