As America’s Influence Wanes, China’s Grows – Ted Snider 7/6/23


Individually, each step is a small step barely picked up by the news. But in recent weeks, the world has been vibrating with multipolarity.

Iran is a regional power that pursues a foreign policy that defies US hegemony and refuses to get in line with the unipolar world. Punishing that defiance is key to the US strategy to maintaining hegemony in the region. Key to that strategy is a coalition of states who oppose Iran. And the key to that coalition is Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia abandoned that coalition in March with the Chinese brokered agreement to resume diplomatic relations with Iran and the June announcement that Iran had reopened their embassy in Riyadh.

They took a further step back from that coalition when they demurred to the US invitation to join the anti-Iran Abraham Accords. In June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Saudi Arabia for talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that would include a focus on normalizing Saudi-Israeli relations and the accompanying opposition to Iran. At a press conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Blinken stressed the US intent to forge Saudi-Israel normalization against Iran. But, when questioned by a reporter, the Saudi Foreign Minister contradicted Blinken, saying instead that “without finding a pathway to peace for the Palestinian people, without addressing that challenge, any normalization will have limited benefits.”

Saudi Arabia has recently made a number of other moves that bring them closer to Iran, China and a multipolar world. On June 3, the surprising announcement was made that Saudi Arabia and Iran along with United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, India, and Pakistan would form a joint naval alliance. The alliance reflects a realization that “the security of the region can be established through synergy and cooperation of the regional states.”

A week later, at an Arab-China business summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia signed a $10 billion investment deal with China. Saudi-Chinese trade has grown by a third and is now nearly double Saudi-US trade.

On March 29, the Saudi cabinet approved the decision to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a dialogue partner. The SCO is a massive Russian and Chinese led international organization whose goal is to balance US hegemony and foster a more inclusive multipolar world. Saudi Arabia will, once again, join Iran who, in another major multipolar move, at the SCO summit on July 4 became a full member of the SCO….

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