King Salman of Saudi Arabia and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were both in Beijing last week. The fact they did not meet there is not evidence of China’s lack of influence in the Middle East. Even if they were simultaneously in Washington, they would still ignore each other. It is much too early for the two to be seen together in public.
But their visit did indicate the growing Chinese presence in the Middle East and the recognition of Chinese prowess, certainly economically, by the political leadership in the Middle East.