Saudi fighter jets escort President Xi Jinping ‘s plane on Jan 19

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Saudi Arabia on January 19, 2016 on the first stop of his three-nation tour of the Middle East, as the world’s second-largest economy seeks closer political and economic ties with the region.

This is the first state visit by a Chinese head of state to Saudi Arabia in seven years. Xi will also travel to Egypt and Iran on his first overseas visit this year that lasts from Jan. 19 to 23.

Saudi Arabia sent four fighter jets to escort Xi’s plane when it entered the country’s airspace. The president was received by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the airport.

“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 upon arrival.

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