Xi, making his first presidential visit to the region, will also travel to Egypt and Iran during his five-day tour.
State television showed Xi meeting with King Salman and the official Saudi Press Agency said the monarch held a luncheon banquet in his honour attended by several members of the royal family.
“Since China and Saudi Arabia forged diplomatic ties 26 years ago, our relationship has developed by leaps and bounds, with mutual political trust deepening continuously and rich results in cooperation in various fields,” Xi said in written remarks, cited by China s official Xinhua news agency.
“I believe that my visit will be a friendly trip with fruitful achievements, thus conducive to lifting our cooperation in various fields to a new level and to elevating the collective cooperation between China and GCC nations,” Xi said, referring to the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to which Saudi Arabia belongs.
On Wednesday, Xi is to join Salman for a ceremony to inaugurate the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre on energy economics and policy in Riyadh.
They will also open, remotely from Riyadh, the Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Company Ltd on the kingdom s Gulf coast.
The refinery is a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Aramco and China Petrochemical Corp (SINOPEC).
Red flags of China are flying in central Riyadh for the high-profile visit, to which the Arab News daily devoted a 10-page special supplement.
Tensions between regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a new high this month when Riyadh and a number of its Sunni Arab allies cut diplomatic ties with Tehran.
The schism came after protesters burned Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran following the kingdom s January 2 execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
He was among 47 people put to death in a single day for “terrorism”. Most of those executed were Sunnis.
Xi arrived three days after a historic international deal lifted sanctions on Iran in return for a scaling back of its nuclear capabilities.
Sep 28, 2016 0
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily