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China’s Xi is in Saudi Arabia for an ‘epoch-making’ visit as Riyadh resents American criticism.

As Riyadh broadens its global alliances beyond a long-standing partnership with the West, Chinese President Xi Jinping began a visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Beijing claimed that this visit represented Beijing’s biggest diplomatic initiative in the Arab world.


Ahead of the November midterm elections, Saudi Arabia and the United States are meeting as relations between the two countries are strained by American criticism of Riyadh’s human rights record and Saudi backing for oil output cuts.


According to the White House, Xi’s visit was an example of Chinese efforts to sway international opinion and would not alter American policy toward the Middle East.


According to John Kirby, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, ‘We are conscious of the influence that China is trying to build throughout the world.’


The largest energy consumer in the world, China, is a significant trading partner for Gulf oil and gas producers. Under the region’s desire for economic diversification, bilateral connections have grown, raising U.S. fears about rising Chinese engagement in key infrastructure in the Gulf.


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