Saudi Arabia discussing energy cooperation with China
The topics of the cooperation talks were paralleled with Biden's agenda in his last visit to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is studying prospects for energy cooperation with China, local Saudi news reveals.
On Friday, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, held a virtual meeting with his counterpart in China, Zhang Jianhua, to discuss cooperation in the global oil market and nuclear energy.
The crisis comes as a political crisis deepens between Washington and Riyadh, especially after Saudi Arabia led a decision in OPEC+ to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day as of November, after Biden did all in his lobbying power to halt the decision.
Biden, in a retaliatory statement, said that the US would have to re-evaluate its decision with Saudi Arabia.
In a video conference with China’s National Energy Administrator, the two ministers “confirmed their willingness to work together to support the stability of the international oil market” and stressed the need for “long-term and reliable oil supply to stabilize a global market that endures various uncertainties due to complex and changeable international situations."
The two also discussed cooperation and joint investments in countries that China sees as part of the "Belt and Road" initiative. During the Trump administration's reign, Washington's cooperation with Saudi Arabia on nuclear energy was to prevent Saudi-Chinese cooperation.
Funny, however, is that Biden's most recent visit to the kingdom held discussions on development projects to sideline Chinese interest and plans in the region.
In addition to discussing nuclear uses, the ministers also discussed electricity, renewable energy and clean hydrogen cooperation - the same topics discussed during Biden's visit.
Oil analyst Ellen Wald told Axios through email: "The statement that Saudi Arabia and China are committed to strengthening their cooperation in the energy sphere is a clear rebuke aimed at Washington."
"This statement doesn't indicate any new policies, but is designed to remind the Biden administration that Saudi Arabia has other important energy relationships and that Saudi oil policy does not come from Washington — it comes from Riyadh," she said.
On Tuesday, Biden announced plans to release up to 15 million barrels of oil from the country's emergency oil reserves to combat rising fuel costs. The oil release would be the latest portion of a deal struck last spring to release 180 million barrels of oil from energy companies.