Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, assist Saudi Arabia's King Salman down a ramp during a welcome ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman oversaw the signing of deals worth potentially $65 billion as he began a visit to Beijing Thursday, as the world's largest oil producer looks to cement ties with the world's second-largest economy.Saudi Arabia has sought to boost oil sales to China, the world's second-largest oil market, after losing market share to Russia last year, by working mostly with China's top three state oil firms.Chinese President Xi Jinping told Salman in Beijing's cavernous Great Hall of the People that his visit showed the importance he attached to relations with China.Xi visited both Saudi Arabia and Iran in January last year.One Beijing-based diplomat from a Muslim-majority country told Reuters that China was trying to play the role of "honest broker" in the Middle East, as it lacks the historical baggage of the Americans or the Europeans.
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