Saudi crown prince meets Chinese official on Beijing visit

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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has met with a Chinese vice premier in a bid to strengthen relations in the face of criticism from the West over the kingdom’s human rights record and its war in Yemen.

Prince Mohammed held bilateral talks Friday with Han Zheng at the Great Hall of the People before presiding at a China-Saudi cooperation forum and accompanying signing ceremony.

The prince meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping later Friday, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s importance as one of China’s top oil suppliers and a market for its exports, including military drones.

The crown prince’s trip comes five months after he came under intense pressure in the U.S. and elsewhere following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

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