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Why China May Succeed in the Middle East Where So Many Others Have Failed

Chinese President Xi Jinping posing together in Riyadh with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and other leaders from Gulf Cooperation Council member states. Image via the Saudi Press Agency.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia last week and his participation in three summits with Arab leaders went precisely according to plan. The President was feted lavishly by the Saudi royal family while seeming to rise above the region’s often toxic politics.

Xi, in many ways, is trying to do what so far has been impossible for other major powers that have focused on the Middle East over the past century for its abundant supply of energy. China, he insisted repeatedly, will not get bogged down in the region’s internal struggles like those other guys (wink wink.) 

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