China will work to purchase oil and gas in yuan, President Xi Jinping said to the leaders of the Gulf Arab nations on Friday. This will help Beijing achieve its goal of internationalising the yuan and lessen the influence of the U.S. dollar on global trade.
Speaking from Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sponsored two ‘milestone’ Arab meetings with Xi that highlighted the prince’s regional clout as he pursues alliances outside of the country’s traditional ties to the West.
At a time when Riyadh’s relationship with Washington has been put to the strain over human rights, energy policy, and Russia, top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and economic powerhouse China both issued strong statements during Xi’s visit on ‘non-interference.’
As Riyadh had previously threatened in response to potential U.S. legislation opening OPEC members to antitrust litigation, any decision by Saudi Arabia to abandon the dollar in its oil trading would be a seismic political move.