China and Saudi Arabia have pledged to enhance ties across strategic sectors including defence, China’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on 13 March.

Following meetings led by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia’s Defence Minister, the two sides announced a commitment to strengthen their bilateral partnership.

Xi said in a statement that China is “willing to work with Saudi Arabia to accelerate” negotiations over a pending free-trade agreement between China and the Gulf Co-operation Council as well as “enhance co-operation in defence, security and anti-terrorism [activities]”.