UPDATE 1-China to use Shanghai exchange for yuan energy deals with Gulf nations - Xi

(Adds Xi comments)

BEIJING, Dec 9 (Reuters) - China's President Xi Jinping said in Riyadh on Friday that China and Gulf nations should make full use of the Shanghai Petroleum and National Gas Exchange as a platform to carry out yuan settlement of oil and gas trade.

China and states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are natural partners for cooperation, Xi said in a speech at the China-GCC summit.

"China will continue to import large quantities of crude oil from GCC countries, expand imports of liquefied natural gas, strengthen cooperation in upstream oil and gas development, engineering services, storage, transportation and refining, and make full use of the Shanghai Petroleum and National Gas Exchange as a platform to carry out yuan settlement of oil and gas trade," he said.

In his speech, Xi proposed other areas for cooperation in the next three to five years, including finance and investment, innovation and new technologies, as well as aerospace, and language and cultures.

"China is willing to carry out financial regulatory cooperation with GCC countries, facilitate GCC enterprises to enter China's capital market, establish a joint investment association with GCC, support sovereign wealth funds of both sides to cooperate in various forms," Xi said.

China will also establish bilateral investment and economic cooperation working mechanisms, carry out local currency swap cooperation and deepen digital currency cooperation, he said.

In his speech, Xi also called on China and GCC nations to be partners in promoting unity, development and security.

Xi's visit comes at a time when Riyadh's long-standing alliance with Washington has been strained over human rights issues, energy policy and Russia, as well as Gulf doubts about the commitment of main security guarantor America to the region. (Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Toby Chopra and Philippa Fletcher)