Barely a byline,but a horror none the less…RIYADH: China signed energy deals with its top oil provider Saudi Arabia on Sunday as its Premier Wen Jiabao visited the kingdom with tension over Iran’s nuclear programme sparking fears of major oil supply disruptions.H/t to Dawn:
Saudi Arabia is the largest supplier of oil to energy-hungry China and bilateral trade between the two countries amounted to $58.5 billion in the first 11 months of 2011, according to Xinhua Chinese news agency.
The two countries inked several economic and cultural agreements on Sunday, including a Memorandum of Understanding between Saudi petrochemical giant Sabic and China’s Sinopec to build a petrochemical plant in Tianjin, SPA said.
They also signed a cooperation agreement for the “peaceful use of nuclear energy,” it added without elaborating.
On Saturday, Mr Wen met Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, who is Saudi’s interior minister, SPA reported.
Mr Wen also held talks with the head of the Organisation of Islamic Conference, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, an OIC statement said.
The Gulf tour will also take Mr Wen to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
His trip comes as the West ups the stakes in its standoff with Iran, threatening to impose sanctions on the oil exports of the Islamic republic, which provides 11 per cent of China’s oil imports.
Iran is the third largest provider of oil to China. Qatar and the UAE, although both major oil-producing states, do not yet figure among the top 10 oil exporters to Beijing.
The measures bar any foreign banks that do business with Iran’s central bank – responsible for processing most oil purchases in the Islamic republic – from US financial markets.
But China opposes the sanctions on Iran, which Washington and other nations accuse of developing nuclear weapons – a claim denied by Tehran.—AFP ”
I want to know what China put on the table myself…