The long-term negative economic repercussions of the Saudi regime’s self-created policy of crashing the oil market in March 2020 continues to haunt Riyadh.
Oilprice.com reported that “Saudi Arabia has lost market share in China to the United States as the world’s top oil importer has boosted imports from America and reduced purchases from the Kingdom… Last month, Saudi Arabia slipped to the third spot on the list of China’s key oil suppliers behind Russia and Iraq—the first time in two years that the Kingdom has not been the number-one or number-two oil supplier to the world’s top oil importer.”
Since Washington made the anti-China narrative the main part of its policy calculations, it is highly likely that Beijing will attempt to steer away from Washington’s puppet regimes in order to deprive the US of various economic leverages against China.
This is a terrible news for the already troubled Persian Gulf regimes whose economic system is highly reliant on oil.
It is plausible that through oil purchases from the US, China is attempting to build direct influence within the US economy by positioning itself as an important customer in an industry as crucial as oil.
If China becomes the main buyer of US oil, it will be harder for the American elite to pressure Beijing economically, as its withdrawal from the US oil market will create internal frictions in America.
This can provide Beijing with additional bargaining chips to strong arm US politicians on other contentious issues.