Nobody has ever accused Saudi Arabia of having anything but a strictly “Saudi Arabia First” foreign policy. It looks China is offering a better deal than the U.S. From Matthew Ehret at thecradle.co:
The historic China-Arab Summit currently underway in Riyadh symbolizes the emerging Eurasianism in the Persian Gulf.
As Atlanticists continue their commitment to a future shaped by energy scarcity, food scarcity, and war with their nuclear-capable neighbors, most states in the Persian Gulf that have long been trusted allies of the west have quickly come to realize that their interests are best assured by cooperating with Eurasian states like China and Russia who don’t think in those zero-sum terms.
With Chinese President Xi Jinping’s long-awaited three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, a powerful shift by the Persian Gulf’s most strategic Arab state toward the multipolar alliance is being consolidated. Depending on which side of the ideological fence you sit on, this consolidation is being viewed closely with great hope or rage.
Xi’s visit stands in stark contrast to US President Joe Biden’s underwhelming ‘fist bump’ meeting this summer, which saw the self-professed leader of the free world falling asleep at a conference table and demanding more Saudi oil production while offering nothing durable in return.
In contrast, Xi’s arrival was greeted by a multi-cannon salute and Saudi jets painting the red and yellow colors of China’s flag in the skies over Riyadh. Beijing’s delegation of political and business elites, in the following days, will continue to meet with Saudi counterparts to strike long-term strategic deals in cultural, economic and scientific domains.