Chinese President Xi Jinping is on his second day's visit in Saudi-Arabia.[Special Coverage] He will be departing for Egypt later in the day, but before that, the president and Saudi King Salman inaugurated the opening of the Yasref oil refinery, a joint venture between Saudi state oil company Aramco and China's Sinopec.
Earlier, Xi held separate meetings with Saudi Arabia's King, chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and chief of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
High on the agenda throughout all the talks was deepening cooperation in energy and inter-connectivity, under the One Belt and One Road framework.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz hailed the lifting of ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership during their meeting.
Xi said China is willing to expand the scale of the oil trade, even though Saudi Arabia is already China's biggest supplier of crude oil and bilateral trade has reached some 69 billion US dollars.
But the trip is not only about oil.
The two sides signed 14 agreements and memoranda of understanding, many of them on economic issues.
Also on Tuesday, President Xi held talks with the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, who highly spoke of China's support of the region and more.
"All the member states of GCC are grateful for China's support in the just causes of Arabian nations. We are especially thankful for China's support in Palestine issues, and we hope that China can play a bigger role," said Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General.
"We hope that China and the GCC can deepen cooperation in all areas, and GCC state leaders have proposed we develop a strategic partnership with China."
And more cooperation is brewing.
China and the GCC are working on sealing a free trade agreement in 2016.
The two sides pledged to speed up the negotiation process and hold the next round of FTA talks in February.
"The restart of the negotiations on the China-GCC Free Trade Zone will further strengthen our relations, and promote cooperation in economy and trade," Abdullatif Bin Rashid Al-Zayani said.
"This was decided when the GCC delegation visited China in January 2014, and it has also been one of visions of President Xi."
Last December, the GCC passed a resolution to establish the special strategic partnership with China.
With the upgrade in relations between China and middle eastern countries, there are rosy prospects for uncovering new fields of cooperation.