China hopes for 'objective' probe on Saudi attacks

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s hopes for an “objective” investigation into attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, the foreign ministry said on Thursday, after Saudi Arabia said the attacks were “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.

Iran has denied involvement in the Sept. 14 attacks, which hit the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, on Wednesday showed drone and missile debris it said amounted to undeniable evidence of Iranian aggression.

While condemning the attacks, China, which has close relations with both Riyadh and Tehran, has held off blaming any one country, and has called for calm and restraint.

“We hope the incident can get a comprehensive, objective and public investigation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

“We once again call on relevant parties to avoid taking actions that lead to an increase in regional tensions, and to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.”

Saudi Arabia is China’s top oil supplier for the year to date.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ben Blanchard