|President Xi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed (jns.org)|
Saudi Arabia announced on October 5th that it would step up cooperation with China in the energy supply chain in response to a recent decision concerning a reduction in oil supplies that resulted in a dispute with the United States (U.S.). On the 21st, the Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, and Director of China’s National Energy Administration, Zhang Jianhua, agreed to strengthen their ties in the energy supply chain to establish a “regional hub” for Chinese manufacturers. Moreover, they discussed cooperation and co-investment in the “One Belt, One Road” project, a silk road connecting China, Central Asia, and Europe by land and sea. After the conference, analysts looked at Saudi’s admission to rebalance ties with the U.S. The conflict between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia began after Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+), the oil cartel led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed to slash production by two million barrels per day. Even if the U.S. discouraged oil cuts that would raise global oil prices and help Russia secure war funds, it was in vain. Furthermore, the U.S. said that the move to reduce the oil supply might counteract sanctions on Russia by raising Russia’s oil exports. However, Saudi Arabia disputed the claim that the decision was made solely for its economic interests. Saudi Arabia’s choice is anticipated to demonstrate to the U.S. that they desire to mend fences with the country.
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