China replaces the U.S. in the Middle East
According to three sources acquainted with the latest intelligence, Saudi Arabia is believed to have purchased ballistic missiles from China in the past but has never been able to develop its own – until now. According to CNN, the satellite images indicate the Kingdom is currently constructing the weapons in at least one place.
According to two sources familiar with the latest assessments, U.S. officials at numerous agencies, including the White House National Security Council, have been briefed on classified intelligence revealing multiple large-scale transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia in recent months.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have sworn adversaries. It seems unlikely that Tehran will agree to halt the production of ballistic missiles if Saudi Arabia has initiated production of its own.
This is a crucial point that television does not mention. China is the arms dealer of Iran too. Iran receives Chinese assistance as the U.S. implies an arms embargo. As a result, China sells arms to rival countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran has become an important player in the regional power game.
Any U.S. response might be complicated further by diplomatic concerns with China, as the Biden administration wants to reengage Beijing on several other high-priority policy problems, including climate, trade, and the pandemic.
In response to a question about recent transfers of sensitive ballistic missile technology between China and Saudi Arabia, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told CNN in a statement that the two countries are "comprehensive strategic partners" who "have maintained friendly cooperation in all fields, including military trade."
"Such collaboration does not violate any international law and does not include the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction," according to the statement.
In 2019, CNN claimed that U.S. intelligence services knew that Saudi Arabia was partnering with China to enhance its ballistic missile programme.