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US ‘losing influence’ in Middle East to China

June 14, 2023 at 10:42 am

China and US flags [HOW HWEE YOUNG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

The US is losing influence in the Middle East to China, the Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday. According to the analysis originally published on the Media Line, the US “has always had a complicated relationship” with the region.

China, it is reported, stepped in “after years of US military intervention in the region and an ongoing cold war-like relationship” between Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the administration of current US President Joe Biden. Beijing has apparently “stepped in to fill the regional diplomatic role that was once the exclusive domain of the United States.”

Dr Melinda McClimans, assistant director of Ohio State University’s Middle East Studies Centre and co-author of the book Keys to Understanding the Middle East, was reported as confirming the loss of US influence.

The situation with Saudi Arabia “has changed a lot, especially since [Bin Salman] has been in power,” she said. “It used to be just lockstep; they were a sure-thing ally. It’s not like that any more. It is very unpredictable.”

US Marine Corps combat veteran and current US Representative Dr Rich McCormick told the Media Line that China’s rise in the region is partially a result of President Biden’s foreign policy, citing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. “Joe Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan [completed in 2021] has created a security vacuum, leaving some Middle Eastern nations considering China as a partner for economic and security development. This should concern us greatly.”

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