The new refinery project in China’s Northeast province of Liaoning was agreed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) during his two-day visit to China, Al-Jazeera reports.
China is likely to become an increasingly important ally for Saudi Arabia, both economically and politically, as the middle-eastern state faces frosty ties following the alleged government-sponsored assassination of journalist Jamal Kashoggi last year.
China is already Saudi Arabia’s largest trading partner – bilateral goods trade came to $63.3 billion last year, according to Al-Jazeera reports. There is also a history of large deal signings between the two nations, with MBS’s father signing $65 billion in energy deals two years ago.
The Liaoning deal will contribute to Aramco’s expansion strategy, and will be a useful boost to the investment-starved Liaoning province, where growth has been sluggish in recent years.
MBS also met with other high-ranking Chinese officials to express reciprocal support for Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure program and Saudi Arabi’s Saudi Vision 2030 initiative.