The Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli’s visit to Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2017 was a deal maker. There was agreement on a US$20 billion Sino-Saudi investment fund, along with discussions of nuclear energy projects and other economic agreements worth nearly US$70 billion. So what is going on between the two countries? Why is a communist superpower collaborating with an American ally in the Middle East? Is there more to this than economic cooperation? And could it be the start of a power transition in the region, with China taking over US leadership? China sees Saudi Arabia as a rich source of energy – and the supply of energy has, for at least two decades, been seen as the main bottle neck of Chinese economic development. Making economic development a priority was declared as a state policy in China in 1978 by the then leader, Deng Xiaoping.
The Conversation 7th Nov 2017 read more »