The Road to De-Dollarisation Will Run through Saudi Arabia: The Fiftieth Newsletter (2022)

Thursday, 15 December 2022 — The Tricontinental

Balqis Al Rashed Saudi Arabia Cities of Salt 2017Balqis Al Rashed (Saudi Arabia), Cities of Salt, 2017.

Dear friends,

Greetings from the desk of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

On 9 December, China’s President Xi Jinping met with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to discuss deepening ties between the Gulf countries and China. At the top of the agenda was increased trade between China and the GCC, with the former pledging to ‘import crude oil in a consistent manner and in large quantities from the GCC’ as well to increase imports of natural gas. In 1993, China became a net importer of oil, surpassing the United States as the largest importer of crude oil by 2017. Half of that oil comes from the Arabian Peninsula, and more than a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s oil exports go to China. Despite being a major importer of oil, China has reduced its carbon emissions.

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Historic significance of Xi’s Saudi visit

Tuesday, 8 November 2022 — Indian Punchline


Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly planning to visit Saudi Arabia in the second week of December 2020

The report that Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning his first overseas trip after the Party Congress and it may be to Saudi Arabia drips with enormous symbolism. According to the Wall Street Journal, the visit is likely to take place early December and hectic preparations are under way.

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Saudi Arabia calls out US bluster

Friday, 14 October 2022 — Indian Punchline


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman shares a laugh with Russian President Vladimir Putin after giving the Russian leader a high-five that morphed into a handshake, on the opening day of G20 Summit, Buenos Aires,  Nov. 30, 2018. USA Today described it as ‘a car alarm blaring in a library… closely parsed for meaning’.

Saudi Arabia has politely but firmly rebutted the threats and calumnies levelled by the US political elites in the past week since the OPEC decided to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day. On Thursday, a Foreign Ministry official in Riyadh forcefully pushed back the allegation that the OPEC decision was at Saudi initiative and was politically motivated against the US, and, worse still, to help Russia.

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Two potentates meet up at St. Petersburg

Wednesday, 12 October 2022 — Indian Punchline

A 19th century painting of Konstantinovksy Palace, St. Petersburg

There was something profoundly meaningful that the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan undertook a visit to Russia amidst the gathering storms in Ukraine. Conscious of the symbolism, Russian President Vladimir Putin received Sheikh Mohammed on Tuesday in a grand setting befitting a monarch — at the gorgeous Konstantinovksy Palace in St. Petersburg whose heritage dates back to Peter the Great, a symbol of the revival of Russia and its cultural heritage.

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A perfect storm in US foreign policy

Tuesday, 11 October 2022 — Indian Punchline


The old adage is that a good foreign policy is the reflection of the national policy. A perfect storm is brewing on the foreign policy front in America triggered by the OPEC decision on Thursday to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day, which will on the one hand drive up the gas price for the domestic consumer and on the other hand expose the Biden Administration’s lop-sided foreign policy priorities.

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OPEC’s body blow to Biden presidency

Saturday, 8 October 2022 — Indian Punchline

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (R) and US President Joe Biden bump fists in Jeddah before talks, July 15, 2022

The Biden Administration is swiftly establishing a narrative that the recent OPEC decision to cut oil production by two million tonnes is a geopolitical “aligning” by Saudi Arabia and Russia. It taps into the Russophobia in the Beltway and deflects attention from the humiliating defeat of President Biden’s personal diplomacy with Saudi Arabia. But it is not without basis, either.

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Where JCPOA, oil conjoin stands OPEC+

Thursday, 25 August 2022 — Indian Punchline


Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and then Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at G20 summit, Hangzhou, Sept. 5, 2016, where they planned an oil output task force that fructified as OPEC+

The news that made the headline today is that the Biden Administration may have inched closer to restarting the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Meanwhile, it escaped attention that Iran’s oil minister Javad Owji said just a day earlier in Tehran following a meeting with Igor Levitin, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s senior aide, that the two countries have finalised their talks on “gas purchase and swap” and a contract is going to be signed in Moscow.

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Reports of OPEC+ death are greatly exaggerated

Thursday, 2 June 2022 — Indian Punchline


Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud (R) met visiting Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Riyadh, May 31, 2022

The fact that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states held a joint ministerial meeting with their Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Saudi capital of Riyadh at this point in time in global politics conveys a powerful message in itself.

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