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As US watches, China and Saudi Arabia shy away from defense deals during Xi's visit

Pentagon officials are closely watching what deals result from the Chinese president's meetings with Arab leaders.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Feb. 22, 2019.

Defense deals between Saudi Arabia and China have been starkly absent from President Xi Jinping's landmark visit to the kingdom which concluded on Saturday and saw expansion of economic, energy and tech cooperation.

The summits that the Chinese leader held in Riyadh with Saudi and Arab leaders included agreements on nuclear energy, space exploration and both 5G and 6G technology, Xi said, but no new defense deals have been publicly disclosed.

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