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Saudi Arabia’s crown prince discusses ‘strategic partnership’ with China

Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), discussed his “strategic partnership” with Chinese Communist dictator Xi Jinping in a phone call on Friday.

MBS and Xi discussed “ways to advance the work of the Saudi-Chinese Joint Commission” and “international situations and issues of common concern”, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Al-Arabiya News describe the phone call as the first known interaction between the two since MBS sent his condolences to Xi for China Eastern Airlines Plane crash on March 21, during which all 132 passengers and crew were killed.

Chinese state media mentioned Xi told MBS he considers developing closer relations with Saudi Arabia a “priority”.

“The Chinese side supports Saudi Arabia in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and stability, and independently exploring a development path suited to its own national conditions,” Xi was quoted as saying.

Xi has offered support to MBS for programs such as Saudi Vision 2030the roadmap to diversify Saudi Arabia’s oil-based economy, and Saudi Arabia’s “Green Middle East” initiative, in exchange for Saudi “synergy” with the “Belt and the Road” of China.

“China stands ready to work with Saudi Arabia to promote peace and stability in the Middle East, push for an early conclusion of the China-Gulf Cooperation Council free trade agreement, and jointly build a community. Chinese-Arab destiny for the new era,” Xi said.

According to Chinese reports, MBS promised that Saudi Arabia would help shield the Beijing regime from international consequences for its brutal oppression Uighur Muslims. Given China’s enthusiasm for “the right of all countries to independently choose their own political and human rights path”, MBS cannot expect any criticism from Beijing for her own offenses.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on February 22, 2019. (Photo credit should read COMMENT HWEE YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images)

germany Ofyoutsche Welle (DW) noted that China buys about a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s oil exports and pressured the Kingdom to let it buy that oil with yuan instead of dollars, which would be a step major move towards China’s longstanding goal of dethroning the United States. dollar as the world oil currency.

DW pointed out that if the Saudis helped China establish the yuan as an oil currency, it could give Russia, China’s ally, an easy route to avoid global sanctions imposed after Russia attacked Ukraine.

Saudi Arabia does a lot of business with China, and its monarchs might understandably be interested in joining a new world order in which Western concepts of human rights and individual liberty have been completely obliterated.

Also as DW Delicately hinted, the Saudis have noticed that Western nations are recklessly jumping off the “green energy” cliff while China remains unashamedly interested in fossil fuels. It’s not hard to imagine that Riyadh sees the Chinese as more reliable customers for their flagship petroleum products.

On the other hand, some foreign policy analysts believe that the Saudis like to flirt with China primarily to keep Western governments on their toes, forever dangling a full alliance with Beijing as a “bargaining chip” to gain concessions from the United States and Europe.

The growing alliance between Saudi Arabia and China could face a major test in the coming days as the Saudis consider deporting a Uyghur woman named Buheliqiemu Abula and her 13-year-old daughter to China following protests fierce attacks by human rights defenders.

Abula Told Amnesty International (AI) said her Saudi jailers tested her for coronavirus on Thursday and she believes they could ship her to China at any time. She and her daughter will almost certainly be thrown into China’s brutal concentration camps in Xinjiang province if that happens.

Two Uighur men are also awaiting extradition to China. Amnesty International has urged Saudi Arabia to stop all four deportations.

“Forcibly returning these four Uyghurs would be an unacceptable violation of Saudi Arabia’s obligations under international law. Saudi authorities should not even think of sending them to China, where they will be subjected to arbitrary detention, persecution and possibly torture,” said AI’s deputy regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Lynn Maalouf.


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