Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is scheduled to start a six day visit to the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to discuss the country’s energy policy, China’s foreign ministry said late on Tuesday.
During the trip he will meet leaders of the three nations to “promote the development of China-Arab dealings and relations with the Islamic world,” its foreign minister Liu Weimin said.
Saudi Arabia is currently China’s largest supplier of crude while Qatar has emerged as its biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas. Beijing is likely to soon overtake Washington as the biggest buyer of Saudi Arabian oil.
Weimin’s announcement comes at a time when US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is in Beijing to seek support and promote sanctions on Iran’s oil industry.