Details about an upcoming Chinese president visit to Saudi Arabia clarifies the agenda behind the plan. The visit is far from a simple political or economic meeting, aiming at reinforcing the eastern bloc led by China and Russia through a China-Arab conference.
On December 9, Riyadh intends to hold a Chinese-Arab conference. During a trip to the Arab country, Chinese President Xi Jinping will participate the summits. Three Arab officials in the area who are acquainted with the preparations disclosed the details during the current week.
On December 7, according to two of the diplomats and a fourth man with firsthand knowledge of the meeting, Xi is expected to land in Saudi capital. The trip occurs at a delicate time for Saudi-American relations. A disagreement over energy sources has led to the tense relationship between the two sides. In addition, worries over expanding Chinese presence in the region will cast doubt on the trip.
Multiple authorities in MENA region have been invited to the Chinese-Arab meeting in Saudi Arabia.
An inquiry for information about the schedule of the meeting or Xi’s arrival was not immediately answered by the Saudi administration’s public relations. A question on Xi’s travel was not immediately answered by the Chinese foreign ministry office either.
With Gulf countries and other Arab governments, the Chinese team is anticipated to sign hundreds of contracts and memoranda of understanding. A wide range of crucial industries, including energy, defense, and finance, may be covered by accords.
In a statement made earlier in November, the Saudi Arabian minister of state for international affairs stated that the visit’s top priority will be enhancing regional stability and commercial ties. Along with the larger Arab gathering, the visit is anticipated to feature a meeting between China and the Gulf, according to Adel Al-Jubeir.
Each country’s degree of participation varies, but several Arab leaders are anticipated to participate. Others would at least dispatch their foreign ministries or their security or energy-related offices.
United States fragile relations with China and Saudi Arabia on human rights issues and Russia’s assault against Ukraine have all contributed to the tension that surrounds Xi’s visit. Meanwhile, China is posing an increasing economic threat to western nations, which some claim does so by using its economic clout as a diplomatic weapon.
Over the last few years, China and Russia have become closer allies with Gulf Arab governments. It takes place at a time when regional skepticism about the United States’ dedication to the area as a critical security ally is rising.
The United States has pushed Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to “make a choice” in their relations with China, but they have defied this push. Both China and Russia are significant trading partners and fellow OPEC+ oil production members.
The government of U.S. President was upset by the OPEC+ decision to lower output objectives last month in defiance of U.S. concerns. Long-standing tensions with Saudi Arabia that Biden had attempted to restore during a tough visit to the country in July were further strained by the policy.
Saudi Arabia claimed that the policy aimed at stabilizing the energy market, rejecting claims about it financial or political agenda. The new meeting with Chines high rank officials may further reinforce the lines between Riyadh and Western allies.