(RightWing.org) – China has pulled off a diplomatic win in the Middle East, and it comes at our expense. The communist regime has helped negotiate a deal between bitter rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia. US power in the vital region is fading while Beijing’s grows.
— Foreign Ministry 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) March 27, 2023
On March 24, Saudi Arabian and Iranian negotiators agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations between their countries. The nations, which each dominate their sides of the Persian Gulf, broke off relations and withdrew their embassies in 2016 after rioters broke into the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. Now, their foreign ministers will meet during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month.
Tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been high for years, with each backing different sides in the civil wars in Syria and Yemen. Iran-backed Houthi insurgents in Yemen even attacked Saudi Arabia directly, using Iranian-supplied missiles. Iran has also objected to Saudi Arabia’s long-term alliance with the US. Support for Saudi Arabia, despite its dubious human rights record, is a cornerstone of US policy in the region; the kingdom is one of the world’s largest oil producers, and supporting it has improved access to Middle Eastern oil as well as provided a balance to Iran’s regional power.
Now it looks like the US is being edged out. Under former president Donald Trump, America negotiated several historic peace deals between Arab states and Israel. The Biden administration hasn’t followed up on the agreements, preferring to appease Iran. That seems to have been noticed in Riyadh, along with the disastrous 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan. Last week’s agreement was brokered by China, and communist leader Xi Jinping hosted Saudi and Iranian diplomats as they negotiated it.
Three years ago, Saudi Arabia would have looked to the US to back it in negotiations. This time it relied on China, showing that Beijing is building its influence in the Middle East. In the future, Arab states could turn to the Chinese communists for help instead of the US, leaving Israel isolated and risking oil shortages for the entire western world.
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