Saudi Hesitation about FTA between PGCC and China

2024/05/27 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online – Interview: A former Iranian diplomat said about the hesitation of Saudi Arabia to interact with China in the framework of the free trade agreement between China and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council: This issue does not have just economic or political reasons. The reasons for this delay have changed momentarily due to regional and international developments and are definitely in line with the interests of each of the parties to the agreement.

Ebrahim Rahimpour, in an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations regarding the reasons for the suspension of the negotiations between China and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, states due to Saudi Arabia’s doubts about the impact of importing cheap Chinese goods on the long-term economic plans of Riyadh, said: This is not a one-dimensional issue and it cannot be discussed without considering political, economic, security sensitivities, etc.

He said: It is natural that countries have obligations towards each other by signing bilateral or multilateral agreements, and each of these agreements is achieved with political, economic, security, and military support and foundations.

This expert on regional and international issues stated that commitments and relations expand through political and strategic interactions. Still, economic interactions and agreements make the parties act stronger than commitments and protect each other’s interests.

Referring to the expansion of China’s economic interactions with various countries in the world, especially with West Asian countries in recent years, Rahimpour said: China is the first trading partner of many countries in the world and has all kinds of goods for export. Therefore, the economic tensions between China and its allies are real because of these countries’ economic goals in the region. These conflicts can be separated from political, security, military, and strategic issues and, at the same time, be connected to these issues. In fact, these issues are not independent of each other, and all these dimensions play a role in why and how this interaction occurs.

He said these tensions and avoidances are for the benefit of each country to receive concessions in the contract.

Asked if the decision of Saudi Arabia to suspend the trade agreement with China came under the pressure of the United States, this expert on regional issues,

stated: We must carefully consider the statistics and figures of exchanges and agreements between China and Saudi Arabia, as/well as between China and the countries of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, but at the moment, Saudi Arabia has reservations due to its behind-the-scenes relations with the Israeli regime and is under a lot of pressure from this direction.

In fact, Saudi Arabia has many political problems in this regard and is hesitant about how to act in this situation.

Referring to the issue of Gaza and the continuation of the war in the Occupied Territories, he said: As we can see regarding the issue of Gaza, Qatar and Egypt are acting as mediators, and Saudi Arabia has no role in this process.

For this reason, Saudi Arabia must have reservations with the Americans regarding its interactions with China.

 

For this reason, Saudi Arabia must have reservations with the Americans regarding its interactions with China.

Rahimpour said: At the same time, Saudi Arabia is playing well with the world powers, not because its dependence on and attachment to the United States has decreased, but because its interests lie in having its favorite relations with Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt.

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