More often than not, superpower competition becomes a threat to world peace and prosperity. But sometimes geopolitical competition pushes great powers to success.

Thus, on March 10, Iran and Saudi Arabia, long cut off their ties, announced the resumption of diplomatic relations following the results of negotiations held under the auspices of China. As to whether this agreement really promotes peace or vice versa, no one can yet say.

This unexpected agreement is fraught with consequences for Washington in any case, both in its efforts to curb Iranian nuclear ambitions and in its already tarnished relationship with Riyadh.

Proactive diplomacy

But it is China’s role that portends the biggest and most lasting consequences. In a diplomatic initiative surprising for a very remote region, Beijing has managed to bring two great adversaries in the Middle East to an agreement. This is probably just the beginning. This Iran-Saudi pact could be a turning point in China’s foreign policy, marked by more active Beijing diplomacy in regions where its influence has remained limited.

The potential benefits are significant. Beijing has colossal economic and political influence in many countries of the world, which it could use to induce individual states to resolve conflicts between them and reduce international tension.

Recall that China is the first trading partner of both Iran and Saudi Arabia. Chancelleries in the US and Europe would like Xi Jinping to use his special relationship with Vladimir Putin to push him to end the war in Ukraine. [le président chinois était en visite officielle à Moscou du 20 au 22 mars].

Offensive for a new world order

However, it is in the face of growing rivalry between Beijing and Washington that the Iran-Saudi agreement promoted by China really makes sense. Because it is part of an accelerated Chinese offensive against American power and for a new world order.

In this offensive, the United States is portrayed as a war-ridden country in which an unjust world order reigns, unsustainable and unable to solve the serious problems of this planet. In a report published by the Chinese government in February, which presented America as the dominant and belligerent power, “The dangers posed by the actions of the United States to the order and stability of the world and the well-being of all peoples