Saudi Arabia, the largest U.S. export market in the Middle East, has invited Chinese President Xi to visit Riyadh as relations with the U.S. have begun to falter since Joe Biden was elected, The Wall Street Journal reported.
According to a report from CNN, U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed that Saudi Arabia is now actively manufacturing its own ballistic missiles with the help of China, a relationship that could lead to domino effects across the Middle East countries.
Under Biden, the U.S. stopped being a superpower and the American leader is openly mocked on the international stage. U.S. allies are now aligning with China.
It was previously reported that Joe Biden might travel to Saudi Arabia to beg them for more oil as he shuts down domestic pipelines and freezes new leases on drilling.
There were reports that Saudi Arabia and Emirati leaders rejected requested phone calls with Joe Biden amid the Ukraine-Russia conflict and oil crisis. However, Psaki denied this report during the White House press briefing.
Now, Saudi Arabia has invited Xi Jinping to visit Riyadh with the intention of strengthening ties with Beijing.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) invited Xi to visit the capital after Ramadan as part of its efforts to strengthen relations with China, the daily reported. If Xi agrees to the trip, it will be his first foreign state visit since the pandemic started, the Journal reported. Ramadan 2022 will begin on April 2 and will end on May 2.
An unnamed Saudi official said the “crown prince and Xi are close friends and both understand that there is huge potential for stronger ties,” the Journal reported. “It is not just ‘They buy oil from us and we buy weapons from them,’” the daily quoted the official as saying.
In contrast, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also called MBS, has refused to hold talks with U.S. President Joe Biden over the past few weeks as the latter seeks to curb the impact of spiking oil prices amid the Russia-Ukraine war, the Journal reported.
While Biden has spoken on the phone with Saudi’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, he has yet to have an official conversation with the Crown Prince. The Journal also reported earlier this month that Bin Salman and Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, both declined to set up phone calls with the Biden administration for talks on containing surging oil prices.
President Xi Jinping has not responded yet to the invitation.