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Will China Win the Middle East?

Saudi Arabia’s turn toward China reflects its dissatisfaction with US policy. But while this is hardly the first time the Saudis have employed this approach to political bargaining, familiar does not mean harmless.

BISHKEK – Just a few years ago, it would have been practically unimaginable for Saudi Arabia, America’s longtime strategic partner, to join an economic and security organization led by China and Russia. Last month, however, the kingdom approved a memorandum of understanding granting it the status of “dialogue partner” in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – the first step toward full membership.