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Using China as an excuse for rows with the Saudis reveals the US’ lack of confidence


Nov 4, 2011
Using China as an excuse for rows with the Saudis reveals the US’ lack of confidence
By Li Xuan
Published: Oct 16, 2022 08:23 PM


Washington seems to have been trying to use China as an excuse for any of its unfavorable situations. This time, in the face of its growing rifts with Saudi Arabia, the US media once again put China into their stories.

Bloomberg on Saturday published an article entitled "China's Rich New Friend Capitalizes on US Oil Spat," saying that "as the US-Saudi rift widens, China has been deepening its own ties with not just the Saudis, but economies across the Persian Gulf region — raising the prospect of a major geostrategic recalibration."

Some other US media outlets and scholars also accused China of taking advantage of the estrangement between the US and Saudi Arabia. Some argued that with the ties between the US and its Middle East ally being in a state of flux, China is seizing the opportunity to extend an olive branch to Saudi Arabia.

It seems to have become a routine that when talking about its bilateral or multilateral relations with many countries and regions, such as the EU and countries in Southeast Asia, the US deliberately gets China involved, underlining "China's exerting influence" there and warning that these countries and regions should keep "vigilant" toward China. This embodies Washington's lack of confidence, and also shows how it is full of anxiety in its foreign policy. As it cannot put forward a solution to maintain or strengthen its ties with these countries and regions, the US has to act in such a hysterical manner.

It also reflects the US' unsound mind-set to contain China on whatever subject as well as the US' goal to curb China's influence on a global scale, which leads the US to include China in almost every topic.

Washington now regards China as a major rival, and from the US perspective, the Middle East is one of its battlegrounds to contest with China, so it is now a policy priority for the US to pull as many as Middle East countries to its side, noted Tian Wenlin, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

The US is concerned that Saudi Arabia is moving closer toward China, from which China will benefit. The US' practices in including China in its rifts with Saudi Arabia indicate that US cannot tolerate the loss of Saudi Arabia and cannot let China gain an advantage in the competition in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and the US are now in a clash over OPEC+'s oil cut decision. US President Joe Biden said Tuesday there will be "consequences" for Saudi Arabia as the Riyadh-led OPEC+ alliance moves to cut oil production and Democratic lawmakers had called for a freeze on cooperation with the Saudis.

In the US-Saudi Arabia ties, it is typically a sacrifice of Saudi sovereignty and interests to meet US strategic interests in the Middle East. In terms of oil price caps, it is clear that the US wants to pull Saudi Arabia toward sanctioning Russia, which is at odds with the economic interests of Saudi Arabia and its security interests.

As a response to the US government's warning, the Saudi foreign ministry tweeted on Thursday that "The Kingdom rejects any dictates," saying Riyadh was working to "protect the global economy from oil market volatility."

The Saudi aversion to the US can be seen as a result of the US' brazen intentions to exploit Saudi Arabia and never taking Saudi Arabia's economic and strategic needs into account. Therefore, it is not surprising that there is a rift between the two countries. It is impossible for Saudi Arabia to not see that getting too close to the US is actually detrimental to itself.

On the contrary, China's policies toward Saudi Arabia and the Middle East, as well as its policies toward other countries and regions, clearly never interfere in other countries' internal affairs and truly focus on the economic interests of both sides. China has never considered exploiting any country or region to achieve its geopolitical goal. Most countries know exactly which country is better and beneficial.

In dealing with relations with the Arab countries, the US still has a very strong sense of civilizational superiority and always handles bilateral relations with the consciousness of racial superiority. Judging from the Saudi foreign ministry's statement, Saudi Arabia and even many other countries in the Middle East are very dissatisfied with this "condescending" manner of the US and are reluctant to continue to obey its "dictates."

It can be said that the US is outwardly strong but inwardly weak in maintaining its so-called alliances in the Middle East.


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