Strait Talk

Saudi Arabia Gives Extravagant Welcome For China's Xi, As the US Watches With Concern

Two separate visits to Saudi Arabia, just a few months apart, couldn't have been more different. When US President Joe Biden arrived in the kingdom back in July, the mood was somber, with less pageantry than his predecessor had received. And Biden's visit paled in comparison to the lavish welcoming ceremony Chinese President Xi Jinping was given after arriving in Riyadh on Wednesday for a three day visit. On just his third foreign trip since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago, Chinese President Xi met both the Saudi King and Crown Prince. The two countries earlier had signed dozens of deals worth 30 billion dollars, covering green energy, technology and construction. Xi later attended a specially arranged summit with Arab and Gulf leaders, which China's Foreign Ministry described as an epoch-making milestone. China, which is Saudi Arabia's largest trade partner, also counts the kingdom as its biggest supplier of oil. Beijing is also increasing its security ties with Riyadh, a role that Washington has played for decades. So is China working to become the new dominant player in the Gulf, and how will the US respond? Guests Guido Cozzi Professor at the University of St. Gallen James Dorsey Senior Fellow at NUS Middle East Institute

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