The meaning of China brokering a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia | In Focus podcast

Dr. Jabin T. Jacob speaks to us on the meaning behind the trilateral agreement signed by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and what this deal signals for Chinese diplomacy. 

Updated - March 16, 2023 01:35 pm IST

Published - March 14, 2023 03:22 pm IST

In a rare moment for Chinese diplomacy, Beijing used its good offices to broker an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia that should see the two warring West Asian nations re-establishing diplomatic relations and re-opening their embassies within two months.

China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, who is a signatory to the “joint trilateral statement”, said the agreement showed that Beijing was a “reliable mediator”. The joint trilateral statement itself said the accord was the consequence of a “noble initiative” by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The announcement, which came on March 10 after four days of talks between Chinese, Iranian and Saudi Arabian officials in Beijing, coincided with a session of China’s National People’s Congress that saw Xi being elected as President for an unprecedented third term.

So, what does this agreement signal for Chinese diplomacy? A new confidence? The ability to play a game long dominated by the West? A showpiece that suggests China was now willing to play broker in other parts of the world?

Guest: Dr. Jabin T. Jacob, Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Governance Studies of the Shiv Nadar University, Delhi NCR.

Host: Amit Baruah, Senior Associate Editor, The Hindu.

Edited by Sharmada Venkatasubramanian.

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