Xi Jinping is set to visit Riyadh, the Middle Eastern ally, amid its ongoing cold relationships with the United States.
In a few days, it’s anticipated that Chinese President Xi’s plane will land in Saudi Arabia. A lavish welcome is being planned in Riyadh that will rival the one Donald Trump received on his first foreign visit as US president.
In sharp departure from Joe Biden’s cold reception, the one being prepared for the Chinese leader is clearly warm. A routine welcome for the US president was given, which was indicative of the tense relations between the two states. The visit by Joe Biden was a clear indication of his personal animosity against Saudi de-fecto ruler.
Instead, Xi is anticipated to enjoy a fanfare-filled welcome meant to strengthen relations between the two countries. The action may strengthen Saudi Arabia’s perception of Beijing as a key partner. This is while Riyadh’s ties with Washington is still on decline.
Throughout the twenty first century, Beijing and Riyadh have become more closely connected. However, since Bin Salman began to gain power in Riyadh six years ago, connections have intensified. Riyadh has disagreed with Washington on crucial human rights concerns by supporting Hong Kong’s harsh national security law and China’s mistreatment of its Uyghurs.
While Washington has turned its attention away from the Persian Gulf region, economic relations between the two nations have advanced.
The major trading ally of Saudi Arabia is China. Beijing is Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil customer. It is a key strategic player in the area and has its sights set on military installations in Africa and beyond.
China’s interests had previously been wholly interest-centered and focused on trade. The country has gradually evolved into a strategic policy center and is now counted on as a key regional partner.
Xi Jinping vis-à-vis Joe Biden
Five months ago, Chinese president received his first invitation for a visit to Riyadh. After former US president’s trip five years ago, only few months into the office, Xi’s visit is expected to be the most momentous for the monarchy. Trump was received with silver swords, a shimmering orb, lavish presents, and smiles by a summit of local and Arab power hubs and tycoons.
They are especially preoccupied with maintaining the free circulation of oil. Both China and the US share similar idea. According to the Americans, there has been a “pivot to Asia” in which attention has been diverted from the area to oppose China. However, the China appear to view the area as the main arena for great powers conflict.
That trip established the scene for how the Trump team would see Riyadh. It was a time when, then-US president and his top advisers frequently provided support for the aspiring de-facto ruler. It also developed close relationships with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and main adviser on the Middle East.
Regarding the Saudi Arabian war in Yemen, the embargo against Doha, or the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, China remained silent. The latter was severely criticized in the Western world.
As US engagement and power extension declines, China is widely perceived as filling the void left in the area. Few benefits came from Biden’s visit two months ago and the oil supply was not increased. In the lead-up to the midterm elections, the measures would have assisted in lowering food costs in Washington.
Plans were being made to welcome hundreds of officials and fly hundreds of Chinese flags in anticipation of the trip. Saudi Prince looks invigorated by Biden’s meeting, assuring associates that it was successful in reinforcing Riyadh’s power on the international scene.