Saturday 22nd of June 2024

Xi Jinping’s Visit to Saudi Arabia and Its Impact on India
Ajay Mohan
Region : North East Asia, China, Middle East-North Africa,
Issue : Energy Security, Politics,
Xi Jinping was on a three day visit to Saudi Arabia. This is the Xi Jinping’s first visit to Saudi Arabia in six years. China and Saudi Arabia signed 34 agreements. China oil price stabilization, cooperation in the energy sector, collaboration the solar sector, Collaboration in technology (cloud services) sectors etc. and agreed both countries invest in each other countries. The two nations signed a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement. Saudi Arabia signed a deal with China electronics Technology group to manufacture unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) payload systems in the Kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is bigger trading partner of China than the United States. Bilateral trade Arab and China worth $87.3 billion in 2021. Chinese exports to Saudi Arabia $30.3 billion. China buys almost 17 to 18 percent oil from Saudi Arab. They also talk about Yuan currency trade. This visit shows the deep rooted developing relations and showing strong economic interdependence each other.
Another important aspect of this visit is both reaffirmed the principle of sovereignty and they have agreed that neither will interfere in the domestic affairs of the each other matters. which means not only Saudi Arabia but the gulf countries and the Arab countries and taking lead most probably a lot of other members of OIC are not going to comment on China’s Uyghur issue. This agreement changed the dynamics of Saudi Arabia’s relations with US and West it means not human right issue remains the important for Saudi Arabia. And another important aspect of this commitment is strengthening the One China policy when it came to China’s recent tension with Taiwan.
This time Saudi Arab needs more weapons and new technology for its security because Saudi’s fighting proxy war with Iran in Yemen. China can provide qualitative edge technology to Saudi Arabia and its defence technology. But Saudi Arabia remained dependent on US in defence infrastructure. But in some past months relations between Saudi Arabia and US not stable good. Because in January this year Biden administration has imposed temporary freeze on US arms sale to Saudi Arab. Washington said American weapons are not used to further the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, where its conflict with the Iranian align Houthis .
That’s one of the reason Saudi’s seeking help from China. This visit shows Saudi Arabia and China engaging deep engagement in multi-sectors and Saudi Arabia is exiting the orbit of the United States where it has lived during its entire lifetime really and now is entering the new orbit of China. This is the changing geo politics of Middle East.
Diplomatically, it seems that China trying to use gap in the Middle East the US has reluctant to engage with the major powers of the region. Turkey and Saudi Arabia has reduced U.S footprints and has reduced the US hegemony over the region. This Xi Jinping visit opened the door for China to enter the Middle East. This visit impact in the global geo-political landscape in the global balance of power.
Impact on India
India has to be very careful because it could frighten India into becoming committing itself to court what India should realize is Saudi Arabia is also doing what India is doing this is not a zero-sum game
Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman cancelled the India visit reason was scheduling issue. But other side recently he talked with Pakistan PM. and organized very big reception to Xi Jinping.
India is powerful nation in information Technology sector, but Saudi signed agreement with Huawei.
New emerging situation is that in future three nations can make alliance Saudi Arab, Pakistan and China, India has to be careful.
Saudi Arabia invested 1.3 billion dollars in India the Kingdom sovereign fund and 1.5 billion invested in Geo platforms. And 1.3 billion dollars in Reliance retail Ventures.
India has to be conscious future investment should not be stop from Saudi Arabia and not divert towards China.
Hopefully, if Saudi Arabia is closer to China it does not necessarily mean that Saudi Arabia will be further away from India. Because India also a big economy and regional power. Grand welcome to Xi Jinping does not mean that Saudi Arabia moving away from India.
The views expressed above belong to the author(s)

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