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International relations

With Xi's trip, China capitalizes on Saudi-U.S. rift

Beijing chases greater clout in vital region, while Riyadh woos new investment

Chinese President Xi Jinping seeks to deepen Beijing's ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.    © Reuters

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia/BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping set foot on Saudi Arabian soil this week for the time since January 2016, on a trip that seeks to take advantage of tensions between Riyadh and Washington to further court the oil-rich kingdom while strengthening China's footprint in the Middle East.

The countries have inked a "comprehensive strategic partnership" in areas that include energy and telecommunications technology. Saudi Arabia also signed a memorandum of understanding to receive technology from China's Huawei Technologies, as well as on direct Chinese investment in the kingdom and on hydrogen power.

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