China says 'no comment' on reported President Xi Visit to Saudi Arabia
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said on Thursday that he had no information to offer at the moment when asked to comment on a media report that President Xi Jinping will visit Saudi Arabia next week.
The Guardian reported on Thursday that plans are underway in Saudi Arabia for a gala reception for Xi, without saying where it got the information from.
Xi has not made any official visit to a foreign country since January 2020, a month which saw an increase in coronavirus cases, before countries across the globe started going into lockdown.
China has systematically persecuted members of the Uyghur Muslim minority in the Xinjiang region for several years, orchestrating a policy of mass surveillance, detention and torture which human rights groups have called "genocide".
Rights groups say countries like Saudi Arabia, an economic ally of Beijing, have shifted from a policy of “silence” over Uyghur persecution to “complicity”.
Jinping said last April that China must stick to its strict "dynamic Covid clearance" policy while the global pandemic remains very serious.
Under China's tough rules, even people with asymptomatic or very mild cases must go into quarantine at centralised facilities, where many people have complained about poor conditions.