Chinese President Visits Murabba Palace in Riyadh
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The Murabba Palace is one of the historic buildings in Riyadh. The palace was named after its square shape of 400 by 400 meters. The palace was built by King Abdulaziz, with the construction beginning in 1936, and completed in 1945. The palace served as a family residence and court for the king.
President Xi and King Salman watched performance of sword dancing and tasted special Arab food and drinks in the palace.
At Abdulaziz's memorial hall, King Salman gave a brief introduction on the old Saudi king's life to President Xi.
Xi praised the architecture's unique artistic and cultural charm and said he was deeply impressed by the Arab country's development over the past eight years since his last visit to Riyadh. He noted that Saudi Arabia boasts modern facilities, well developed transportation and comfortable environment while enjoying palaces of long standing history and rich cultural treasures, which benefit from the hard-working Saudi people and its government's endeavor.
Xi emphasized that his visit to Saudi Arabia has achieved fruitful results and set targets and orientation for the development of the two countries' relations. He said he and King Salman have agreed to set up a high-level committee to steer and coordinate cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
As China and Saudi Arabia agreed to lift their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership on Tuesday, the two countries will implement their consensus and better promote cooperation in all fields, Xi added.
The Chinese president arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. This is the first state visit by a Chinese head of state to Saudi Arabia in seven years. Later in his first overseas trip this year, which will last from Jan. 19 to 23, Xi will also travel to Egypt and Iran, as the world's second-largest economy seeks closer ties with the region.
Saudi Arabia is China's biggest foreign supplier of crude oil and biggest trading partner in West Asia. In 2013, China became the biggest trading partner of Saudi Arabia. Two-way trade reached 69.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2014, growing 230 times over that of 1990, when the two countries established diplomatic ties.