The Saudi government is indeed in advanced talks with several Chinese entities – sovereign wealth funds and oil companies – to sell a 1 per cent stake in its flagship company, Saudi Aramco, can confirm from a number of banking and oil industry sources close to the deal. The sale of such a strategic stake in such a key company in Saudi Arabia to a Chinese entity would mark a decisive shift of power in the Middle East towards China and away from the U.S., further fracturing the already-strained 1945 core relationship agreement between Washington and Riyadh. For China, Saudi has long been a prime target of its overarching strategy to replace the U.S. not just as the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP by 2030 at the latest (it is already the world’s largest economy by purchasing power parity, the largest manufacturing economy, and the largest trading […]