The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain, as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Secretary-General, Nayef bin Falah al-Hajrah, have arrived in Beijing for a five-day visit.
The visit comes after a flurry of diplomatic action by China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, which included a tour of Africa and trips to the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Officials are scheduled to talk about how to boost energy connections with Beijing.
China has attempted to strengthen its connections with Gulf states in recent years, with President Xi Jinping pledging in 2014 to more than double trade with the region by 2023.
The visit may also lead to “breakthroughs” in discussions for a China-GCC free-trade pact.
The prospective accord was initially proposed in 2004, with the two parties exploring the idea of reopening talks in March of last year.
The visit took place in the midst of unrest in Kazakhstan, which has raised fears about China’s energy security. China has long been a major investor in Kazakhstan’s energy sector, which is rich in oil and gas.
In a letter to Kazakhstan’s leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev last week, Xi praised the government’s violent response on protestors as “highly responsible.”
According to official media, he also stated that Beijing was prepared to “provide support” if required.