President Xi Jinping will reach Riyadh on Thursday amid rising US tensions with China and Saudi Arabia. He will attend the China-Arab Summit in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. Heads of state of 14 Arab countries are likely to participate in it.
Citing sources, CNN reported on Jinping's visit to Riyadh on Tuesday. The China-GCC conference is also likely to take place during Jinping's two-day visit to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is America's biggest ally in the Middle East despite rising tensions with the US. Speculation has been rife for months over Jinping's visit to Saudi Arabia. However, neither Saudi Arabia nor the Chinese government has confirmed Jinping's visit.
US and Saudi Arabia tussle over oil production
CNN reports that America's relations with China as well as with Saudi Arabia are strained. China and Saudi Arabia have taken different positions on the Ukraine war. As CNN reports, both have refrained from supporting sanctions on Russia. Riyadh has repeatedly said that Russia is a major energy producing partner. Therefore it should be consulted on oil price decisions of OPEC+ countries.
America opposed the cut in oil production
Actually, America and Saudi Arabia are still embroiled in a dispute regarding oil production. In October, there was a heated exchange between the two countries regarding this. Subsequently, OPEC+, an alliance of oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia, allegedly reduced production by two million barrels per day in an attempt to 'stabilize' prices. This decision was taken even after the strong objection of America.
Biden reached Saudi Arabia in July, had raised the issue of journalist Khashoggi's murder
US President Joe Biden had traveled to Saudi Arabia. There he raised the issue of the 2018 murder of Jamal Khashoggi during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Biden had said that he believed that Saudi leaders were responsible for the death of a journalist living in America.