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Remember how you started junior high thinking that every kid was bigger than you and missing the security of the 30 kids you knew from kindergarten?  But it was okay because you still had your bestest friend!  Well, that was until you saw your best friend holding hands with a more athletic, more popular, hipper, smarter, richer girl from the primary across town who just showed you up as a doofus in P.E. by blocking all your kickballs.

That's how Dubya must feel if he's allowed to see the pictures of Hu Jintao coming out of Saudi Arabia this morning.  It's the end of the Saudi-American romance because Saudi has a new best friend now.

It should worry the hell out of the Bushistas that Hu flew straight to Saudi Arabia from Washington and immediately on landing signed agreements on energy, defence cooperation and security with our best friends in the Middle East.

Pictures and press excerpts on Black Gold Diplomacy below the fold.


Saudi said she loved only me! I carved BFF with her initials into a tree with my chainsaw . . .


We were always so happy together! She said she felt safe with me.


What can this mean?


Saudi looks so desperate and needy!  Doesn't she know that she's embarrassing herself like this, chasing after China?


Does she really like China better than me just because China has more money, more growth, no defence export restrictions, no human rights concerns, a bigger army and an insatiable appetite for oil and petrochemicals?

Everybody wants to be friends with China!

Since the 2003 war the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the largest state-owned oil company, has signed 20 contracts to explore new fields or acquire existing operations in 12 countries, from Indonesia to Tunisia.

Closer to home, it has also been vying with Japan for access to lucrative Russian oil fields in Siberia. In 2004 alone, it increased its overseas oil production by 20 per cent and doubled its extraction of natural gas abroad.

Beijing's newly cultivated energy alliances with populist Left-wing leaders in Latin America, traditionally regarded as the US backyard, are causing alarm in Washington.

Venezuela, which is America's fourth biggest oil supplier and is led by Hugo Chávez, the anti-US authoritarian, sold only 12,300 barrels a day to China in 2004 but that figure will soar under new deals. Beijing is also expanding operations in Bolivia, where Mr Chávez's ally, Evo Morales, became president last year, and Peru.

More on the Saudi-China meetings this weekend from Reuters:

RIYADH (Reuters) - Chinese President Hu Jintao kicked off a three-day trip to China's main oil supplier Saudi Arabia on Saturday, giving further impetus to a budding alliance between the countries.

Hu's flight straight from Washington -- where he met President George W. Bush -- to Riyadh has underscored how important Saudi Arabia and its oil are for China, where burgeoning demand has helped push world crude prices to this week's all-time highs of over $72 a barrel. . . .

King Abdullah headed a large delegation to China in January in a drive to develop Saudi Arabia's trade links with rising Asian economies and diversify from traditional U.S. ties.

Saudi Arabia was China's top oil supplier in 2005, providing 17.5 percent of its imports with 443,600 barrels per day (bpd).

Flanked by Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi, Hu visited to the headquarters of Saudi industrial giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) and discussed plans for a $5.2 billion refinery and petrochemical project at Dalian in northeast China in cooperation with industrial conglomerate Shide Group. . . .

Saudi media said Sinopec and state oil firm Saudi Aramco signed an unspecified memorandum of understanding on "trade cooperation". The countries also signed a security cooperation agreement. . . . .

Saudi media said [Hu] discussed issues including Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the stand-off over Iran's nuclear energy programme with the Riyadh-based head of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdul-Rahman al-Attiya.

Attiya said that China and the GCC could sign a free-trade agreement by the end of the year.

Saudi Arabia has powerful security ties with the United States, and it has insisted that its growing ties with Beijing are no threat to Washington.

Originally posted to LondonYank on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 02:28 AM PDT.

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4%2 votes
85%42 votes

| 49 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hell hath no fury.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LondonYank

    as a Seed Of Barbara Scorned.

    To call the Commander in Chief detached from reality would be an insult to paranoid schizophrenics everywhere. --billmon

    by vicki on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 02:29:29 AM PDT

  •  That sucks (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder if Hu and the Sauds laughed about the Heckler...

    The Bush Years have been An Inconvenient Truth. I want Change. 22 to Open the Doors of Congress

    by kubla000 on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 02:59:37 AM PDT

  •  Worst mistake America ever made (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    0hio

    was granting China favored Nation trade status and supporting China's inclusion in the WTO.

    Now for the Saudi’s. They are making a real big mistake if they sign a free trade agreement with China. If they do then the rest of the world can kiss it goodbye because China will then hand the world it's collective ass on a platter.

    Everyone needs to remember that the cheapest labor force is that of Slave Labor where all voices are silenced forever.

    This is why the neo-cons are so concerned about the abortion issue. Women as breeder's will be needed to supply an over population of Slaves to flood the labor force so that any wages which have to be paid to keep up the illusion that any government ideology will work for the people they represent remains the smoke screen as the Multi-National Corporate and Criminal entities of the world of today become the real power calling the shots in secret behind the scenes. (Sic: Wal Mart for President anyone?)

    Anyone notice how fast the growing WTO protest movement faded to insignificance after 9/11?

    Remember that the attacker's all had links to the Saudi's biggest construction and oil corporations and no one even mentions this fact anymore.

    The biggest power play in history is taking place and almost everyone in the world is asleep at the wheel.

    •  Are you always this conspirtorial this early ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LondonYank, irate

      Isn't it like 5:30CDT?  Sure, we have issues with China's WTO, but if I remember, we were told that open markets in China would produce a friendlier enemy, or some shit.  Oh yeah, and Clinton did all that stuff too, so what can we do. The cats out the bag.

      The Bush Years have been An Inconvenient Truth. I want Change. 22 to Open the Doors of Congress

      by kubla000 on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 03:27:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wrote an Int'l Trade Law paper on China & GATT (6+ / 0-)

        20 odd years ago in law school.  It actually got forwarded to the USTR so it must have been pretty good, though I couldn't tell you what was in it anymore.

        There is damn little we can do about China except let it grow and evolve.  Salaries are rising quickly in both China and India, stagnating in the US and Europe.  China uses 7 billion barrels of oil to our 20 billion, and its industries can be structured much more energy efficiently from scratch while ours are already energy obsolete and uncompetitive.  

        We can make good choices, but it isn't obvious that we will because it will take a lot of humility to admit that Americans can't have the world bow to their will anymore.  In another few decades the picture will be a lot clearer.  

        As Chou En-Lai said to Kissinger about the French Revolution, "It is too soon to tell."

        "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing - after they have exhausted all other possibilities." Winston Churchill

        by LondonYank on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 03:31:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sooner than decades, LY (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bronte17, LondonYank, coffeeinamrica

          American influence and power is evaporating almost overnight.  As soon as five years from now, the balance could already have tipped.  Remember how quickly the Soviet military turned to rust after 1991?

          And, while Bush may be the most incompetent Republican to blame for the evaporation of American influence, there are millions of free market theocrats in that party who heartily approve his approach.

    •  Oh, not everyone in the world. (0+ / 0-)

      The rest of the world is not asleep at the wheel, just  most Americans and our congress are, and even the third-grader-in-chief is awake!  --->

      He's in the living room watching cartoons, go say hello and see if he'll show you his new Army set!

      Changing America 1 cup at a time... "I'm not a Liberal, I just use my brain."

      by coffeeinamrica on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 04:44:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I rate your comment a two. (0+ / 0-)

      Everyone in China is not slave labor. You really don't give a damn about 1/5 of humanity?

      You really think that because China is growing quickly, we should just refuse to have anything to do with them?  I think your logic is even more selfish than the Repubs, so you get a gold star for accomplishing something I didn't think was possible.

      You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. ---Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Opakapaka on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 08:13:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try telling that (0+ / 0-)

        to the families of the people who are executed on May Day every year as an example because they failed to make their production quota or attempted to organize the workforce against bad management.

        This comes from a guy I know who does business with China and travels there on a regular basis. He has watched this yearly event occur in person. Now he takes his vacation during May Day every year.

        Out of sight, Out of mind, as the saying goes.

        •  A guy I know who spoke to a guy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LondonYank

          who talked to someone who def. saw it.

          Man, I live in China and am yet to see executions for failing to meet a production quota.

          Yeah fine, China executes people.  So does another country I know which you probably live in.

          Come to China, see the growth that I have witnessed over the last 10 years.  Sure the US should be worried about China's growth - but it should try to engage china and not fight it.

          The growth is going to happen - the US shoudl try to understand how they can benefit from it.

  •  Just another story about.,,, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PLS, LondonYank, Opakapaka

    Bush's evaporating man-date. title=

    "A wise man who stands firm is a statesman, a foolish man who stands firm is a catastrophe" Adlai Stevenson

    by irate on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 04:12:22 AM PDT

  •  Oh, totally! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tikkun, LondonYank

    The other day a particular Chicken Little went on a rant story here and specific comment here.

    As part of my reply I noted that:
    Bush has done such a fine job of alienating every oil supplying country which, naturally, have welcomed Chinese contracts!  And by the way, the-idiot-in-chief has also alienated (and continues to insult) the Chinese who have us by the balls as the major purchaser of our debt!!

    Changing America 1 cup at a time... "I'm not a Liberal, I just use my brain."

    by coffeeinamrica on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 04:36:24 AM PDT

  •  The folks in Washington State (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti

    pointed the way.  Regional governments had best start working together because they soon will be the only source of real stability for their citizens. It pains me to state that because this may have been part of the goal of the Bush administration.

    Once perceived in the North as a negative future possibility, it may have become a reality while we were sleeping. Each region may have to decide whether its regional model will be the castle, town, or state    And, while they are at it, they had best decide who owns their "national" guard.

  •  The Saudis have LOTS of 'best friends' (0+ / 0-)

    Aramco, Total Sign Deal for $6bn Refinery
    P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News

    JEDDAH, 22 May 2006 — Saudi Aramco yesterday signed a landmark agreement with France’s Total to build a world-class oil refinery in the Eastern Province city of Jubail at an estimated cost of nearly SR22.5 billion ($6 billion.) The project is scheduled to begin operating in 2011, the Saudi Press Agency reported, quoting an Aramco statement.

    “Saudi Aramco and Total signed Sunday a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) related to the planned development of a 400,000 barrel per day world-class, full-conversion refinery in Jubail,” the statement said.

    Saudi Aramco will supply the project with 400,000 barrels per day of Arabian heavy crude oil while the two companies will share the marketing of the refinery production.

    The two oil giants have agreed to form a joint venture company, with each having an ownership stake of 35 percent, to implement the project; the remaining 30 percent will be offered for public subscription by Saudi nationals. “Subject to required regulatory approvals, the parties are planning to offer up to 30 percent interest in the project to the Saudi public,” the statement said.

    The Jubail refinery will be designed to process Arabian heavy crude and will produce high–quality refined products that meet current and future product specifications. “This project represents an excellent opportunity to build on the Kingdom’s strategy of addressing global energy demand while attracting foreign investment to expand its economy,” said Abdallah S. Jum’ah, Saudi Aramco’s president and chief executive officer.

    Total’s Chairman Thierry Desmarest was happy with the deal. “Total is proud to have been chosen by Saudi Aramco to build an efficient and full conversion refinery that will provide the country with an increased capacity to meet different market needs in refined petroleum products,” he said.

    “This agreement reinforces our presence in Saudi Arabia and, through this long-term project, strengthens our close cooperation with Saudi Aramco,” he added.

    More

    Leigh
    leighm (AT) leighm.net

    by leighm on Sun May 21, 2006 at 07:45:41 PM PDT

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