Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

China’s good offices

By Howard W. French

16 Mar 2023 · 6 min read

When the news emerged last week of a resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, most immediate Western commentary focused nervously on how this reflected China’s growing global ambitions.

Because China had brokered the agreement, U.S. and European commentators were quick to see any putative advance for Beijing as a loss for Washington. For well over a decade already, this has been a familiar refrain about China’s relations with other parts of the world, particularly Africa. There, the common logic suggested that with Beijing solidifying its trade, investment, and political relationships on that continent, it must be because Washington’s relevance was fading.

The news, curated.

Subscribe in our mobile app to continue reading this Foreign Policy article

Already subscribed? Sign in

Get world-class journalism from premium publishers, curated by editors and experts. All in one app.

Subscribe now and get 14 days free.