Blinken faces uphill battle amid Middle East’s shift in the course of China and Russia

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken faces challenges during his three-day visit to Saudi Arabia this week, because the United States seeks to maintain its affect in the Middle East. Despite President Joe Biden’s dedication to staying engaged within the region, nations similar to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been forging stronger ties with China, Russia, and Iran, leaving the US struggling to maintain its dominance.
In recent years, China’s influence in the oil-rich Gulf region has grown, causing concern for the US. As Blinken said final month, “China represents essentially the most consequential geopolitical challenge we face right now: a rustic with the intent and, more and more, the potential to challenge our vision for a free, open, safe, and affluent worldwide order.” However, the autocratic nature of Beijing’s government could also be more interesting to the region’s autocrats than Washington’s democracy.
Russia’s growing presence in the Middle East has additionally raised considerations for the US. Despite the Biden administration’s efforts to strain Middle Eastern states into selecting sides, nations like Saudi Arabia have maintained good relations with Moscow and have been reluctant to support Ukraine. In truth, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s defiance of Washington has reportedly made him extraordinarily in style in the area.
This shift in attitude towards the US just isn’t limited to Saudi Arabia; it is a regional phenomenon. Trade between the Middle East and China has grown from US$15.2 billion in 2000 to US$284.3 billion in 2021, whereas trade with the US has solely increased modestly from US$63.four billion to US$98.four billion during the identical interval. Additionally, six Middle Eastern countries have lately requested to join the Chinese-led BRICS group, despite Western sanctions on Russia.
While the US has been the dominant energy in the Middle East for the previous three a long time, it is unsure whether it’ll preserve this place in the future. Many within the area view the US as a hypocritical imperial energy that only pays lip service to human rights and democracy. This perception is particularly evident within the US’s unwavering support for Israel, regardless of the plight of the Palestinians.
During Dark to Riyadh, Blinken is anticipated to pressure Saudi Arabia to normalise relations with Israel, however the Palestinian cause stays a big problem for the Arab public. The perception of the US as a duplicitous power has only been strengthened by its actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, resulting in widespread distrust of American intentions in the area..

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