By making official the normalization between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March, Beijing created a surprise: never before had China made itself so visible on the diplomatic front.
In the Middle East, China is best known for its economic weight — especially in the Gulf countries, with which it has maintained important commercial relations for nearly two decades to ensure its energy security.
Its political and diplomatic discretion has enabled it to maintain good relations with all the countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as Israel, Syria and Egypt. Few countries can boast this feat.
So why the change in strategy? Is China ready to become a major political player in the region?
We explain it all to you, in just five minutes, in video.