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Zero Hedge
1 Apr 2023

NextImg:Saudi Arabia Joins Shanghai Cooperation Organization As It Embraces China

While the US continues to splinter and cannibalize itself as it turns into a third world country, China is expanding its zone of economic and military influence that covers virtually all global commodity producers as it prepares for the next stage in the Sino-US cold war.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's cabinet approved a decision to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as Riyadh builds a long-term partnership with China despite - or perhaps due to - US security concerns. Saudi Arabia has approved a memorandum on granting the kingdom the status of a dialogue partner in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), state news agency SPA said.

The SCO is a political and security union of countries spanning much of Eurasia, including China, India and Russia. Formed in 2001 by Russia, China and former Soviet states in Central Asia, the body has been expanded to include India and Pakistan, with a view to playing a bigger role as counterweight to Western influence in the region. Iran also signed documents for full membership last year.

Joining the SCO was discussed during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia last December, sources told Reuters, adding that dialogue partner status will be a first step within the organization before granting the kingdom full membership in the mid-term.

The decision followed an announcement by Saudi Aramco which raised its multi-billion dollar investment in China on Tuesday, by finalizing a planned joint venture in northeast China and acquiring a stake in a privately controlled petrochemical group.

Riyadh's growing ties with Beijing have raised security concerns in Washington, its traditional ally but increasingly less so, especially following Biden's catastrophic attempts to force OPEC+ to boost oil production, an overture which backfired spectacularly and to global humiliation by the Biden admin.

Meanwhile, Washington says Chinese attempts to exert influence around the world will not change U.S. policy toward the Middle East, which of course is a lie.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have voiced concern about what they see as a withdrawal from the region by main security guarantor the United States, and have moved to diversify partners, shifting their alliance to the biggest US challenger in the global arena. Washington says it will stay an active partner in the region.

Countries belonging to the organisation plan to hold a joint "counter-terrorism exercise" in Russia's Chelyabinsk region in August this year.