Alex Christoforou and Alexander Mercouris discuss the significance of Chinese president Xi Jinping‘s recent visit to Saudia Arabia, where he met heads of state and officials not only from Saudi Arabia but from across the middle east, including from Egypt, Palestine and the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
The Saudis literally rolled out the red carpet for the visit. De facto Saudi leader Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arranged a horse-mounted honour guard for the president’s arrival at Al Yamama Palace, while his ailing father King Salman travelled personally to the airport to greet the Chinese leader as he landed.
During the visit, a phenomenal $29bn-worth of trade deals were signed, including the provision of hi-tech services by Huawei, the Chinese company that has been the subject of draconian imperialist economic sanctions.
In terms of its geopolitical impact, says Alexander Mercouris, “This is as big as Ukraine. We’re talking not just about a visit but about a massive realingment.”
Contrasting the Chinese leader’s visit to the kingdom with that of US president Joe Biden a few months ago, Mercouris points to the huge difference in both attitudes and outcomes. Biden, who has made no secret of his dislike for the Saudi leader, went to the kingdom demanding that the kingdom should turn on the oil taps in order (once again) to save the US economy at the expense of the Saudi one. But, for once, he was met with a rebuff.
“Once up a time, not that long ago, in the middle east, around the world, America was the only game in town. Only the Americans could provide people with technology, investment, industrial development, weapons … today it isn’t like that any more.
“The Chinese are able to offer the Saudis all the things that the US could once offer, perhaps go even further, and it comes with no strings.”
It now looks inevitable that Saudi Arabia will join the Brics and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which could in turn lead to the requirement that purchasers of Saudi oil should pay in the projected new Brics currency rather than in dollars. This in turn could deal a death blow to the debt and crisis-ridden US economy.