The signing last week of a multi-pronged memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Saudi Arabian Oil Company – formerly the Arabian American Oil Company - (Aramco) and the China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) is a critical step in China’s ongoing strategy to secure Saudi Arabia as a client state. As the president of Sinopec, Yu Baocai, himself put it:
Nicolas Pelham has written a very good and thorough article on Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to power and the many excesses, abuses, and crimes he has committed in just a few years. Here he reports on the arbitrary and unexplained detentions of thousands of people:
An adage favored by Claud Cockburn as well as Otto von Bismarck advises "Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied."
Indeed, it should be a clear tenant of political analysis that stated goals are frequently not actual goals. US war planners used rhetorical concerns over non-existent Iraq WMDs as a pretext for invasion. Alleged human rights preoccuations were falsely heralded as the rationale for NATO bombings in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Libya.