Difficult years lie ahead, perhaps five or even 10 years. This future requires a new regional and international approach. The U.S. may no longer have the prominent role it garnered after becoming the major player following World War II and Europe will become more concerned regarding its southern neighbors in northern Africa. Other countries, such as those in the Arab Gulf, may have to create small blocs to defend themselves. They may also have to establish additional alliances based on big interests.
Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz’s visit to China is of additional interest. Saudi Arabia is special to China as it is a prominent partner. On a daily basis, China buys more than one million barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia. Also, Saudi Arabia remains the spiritual country of reference for the Chinese Muslim minority.
I was present on this visit to China. Before now, I witnessed Saudi political openness towards China when King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz decided that China would be the first country he visited after assuming governance. King Abdulaziz thus ended a long era of ruptured relations between the two states.
Oil and large scale investments are the foundation of a long-term relationship between China and Saudi ArabiaAbdulrahman al-Rashed