BEIJING – A visit to Beijing by Saudi Arabia's King Salman is highlighting China's budding engagement with the Middle East, which provides a crucial source of energy to fuel its economy and represents a key component in Beijing's bid to link China to Europe through infrastructure development.
Salman was holding talks Thursday with President Xi Jinping following a formal welcoming ceremony. His visit is part of a monthlong swing through Asia that has included stops in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Japan in a push to develop a less oil-dependent growth strategy.
Beijing is rolling out a trade and investment initiative across Central Asia and the Middle East called "One Belt One Road" and sees the desert kingdom as a regional linchpin.
The 81-year-old Salman will next visit the Maldives.