Reporter’s observation: from G20 to WTO, Saudi Arabia’s diplomacy is on a bigger stage

On July 8, Saudi time, before the deadline for nominating the director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Saudi government announced the nomination of Muhammad tuwikiri, adviser to the general office of the Saudi royal family and former Minister of economic planning, as the candidate for the new director general of the WTO. It is rare for Saudi Arabia, the “oil Kingdom,” to show enthusiasm for the position of “head” of a global organization. In the memorandum submitted to the WTO, the Saudi delegation stressed that Saudi Arabia firmly supports the multilateral trading system and the central role of the WTO in the system. However, tuwikiri himself said at the subsequent WTO conference that the organization “is in recession, and reform is more necessary than ever before”. He said that he expected to lead the organization to “focus on success” “Gong”. Although tuwikiri has worked in banking and investment institutions such as HSBC and JP Morgan Chase, and has served as the director of Saudi statistics, Minister of economic planning and cabinet member and other important positions, several other candidates are no less than others, especially the two former senior female officials of international organizations from Egypt and Nigeria, with rich international economic and economic development Working experience in the field of foreign trade, there are different predictions about who will be the next director general of the WTO. However, whether tuwikiri is elected or not, Saudi Arabia has shown its determination and willingness to enhance its influence in the world. < / P > < p > such determination and willingness are also reflected in the Saudi government’s attitude towards the media. He has been in Saudi Arabia for more than five years. Apart from activities closely related to the relations between China and Saudi Arabia, the number of exclusive interviews with Saudi officials at or above the ministerial level is rare. Most of the expatriates in Saudi Arabia have similar experiences. Some even listed Saudi officials as “the most difficult people to interview in the world”. For this reason, when tuwaikiri contacted several foreign countries stationed in Saudi Arabia and said that they could accept the interview, their first reaction was both joy and surprise. < / P > < p > it is not just the world trade organization. According to the information disclosed by the government at present, Muhammad tuwikiri is the candidate directly nominated by Saudi Arabia for the head of the first global international organization, which seems to be in line with Saudi Arabia’s consistent “low-key” foreign policy for decades from 2015. As national security has been under the protection of the United States for a long time, Saudi Arabia has been “quietly” using its political and economic strength to influence the surrounding Gulf and Arab countries. The farthest we can see is probably the Islamic countries in Southeast Asia. Even the last Saudi Secretary General of OPEC, which is closely related to his own interests, dates back to 1967. King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was respected by the international community for showing the energy of the desert kingdom in the 1973 oil embargo. The embargo directly led to the first oil crisis in the history of Western capitalist countries. The GDP of the United States in that year was said to have dropped by 4.7%. However, at that time, Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil producing countries were also due to the US military aid to Israel in the Yom Kippur War The choice was made by the action. Saudi leaders have always been cautious about using oil as a weapon to put pressure on their opponents until the oil price war in March 2020. On the surface, the adjustment of Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy from “Buddhism” to “striving for success” is only a matter of five years. In other words, it almost started with the young prince Muhammad bin Salman becoming the crown prince. In addition to vigorously supporting the government represented by President Hadi of Yemen and forming an alliance to launch military operations against Yemeni Hussein forces, the alliance of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates boycotting Qatar, the Islamic military alliance against terrorism, the Council of states bordering the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and to the “Middle East strategic alliance”, that is, the Arab version of “NATO”, There are at least four international cooperation and coordination mechanisms that Saudi Arabia has established and is in the process of establishing. Although we can still see the cooperation mechanism of Arab “NATO” with obvious shadow of the United States, from breaking diplomatic relations with Qatar to the anti-terrorism military alliance with “Islam” as the common core value, Saudi Arabia obviously values its own “rivers and mountains” which are created by the current situation. After the outbreak of the Arab spring, the influence of some traditional powers gradually declined. Saudi Arabia gradually saw the hope of leading the Middle East and hoped to get support from its traditional allies. However, since the Obama administration, there have been more and more contradictions between the United States and Saudi Arabia, especially the signing of the Iran nuclear agreement, which is regarded as a serious violation of Saudi Arabia’s core interests. After Trump came to power, the Saudi side released goodwill with huge arms sales orders, but it did not get the full investment of the US side, but only regarded it as the grasp of its Middle East strategy and the market of weapons and equipment. Trump once threatened that “without the support of the United States, Saudi Arabia’s survival can not last two weeks”. I want to turn my heart to the bright moon, but the moon shines on the ditch. Although the current situation of high military dependence on the United States can not be fundamentally changed, Saudi Arabia has already made another preparation in terms of politics and economy. Among many international cooperation mechanisms, the latest and largest, and now the most proud, of Saudi Arabia is the G20, which holds the annual rotating presidency in 2020. Although Saudi Arabia’s economic strength is only significantly stronger than that of South Africa and Argentina, and comparable to that of Turkey, from the end of 2019 when Saudi Arabia assumed the rotating presidency, headlines such as “Saudi Arabia leads the G20” and even “the kingdom of Saudi Arabia leads the world economic development” have been constantly appearing in the local media. Whether it is a dream or a vision, as the first Arab country to assume the rotating presidency of the G20, Saudi Arabia has made history. The novel coronavirus pneumonia Mohamed Ben Salman has personally formulated the slogan “finding opportunities for all in twenty-first Century for all” in the year of the Saudi Crown Prince. In the post presidency, especially after the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia, Saudi Arabia has sponsored and hosted the special summit of the group of twenty leaders and its dozens of ministerial meetings before and after the summit. They provide a platform for multilateral exchange, which is particularly valuable in the face of major challenges in today’s globalization process. The G20 is the place where all parties play in the financial and financial fields. When the multilateral trading system and the international trade order are under unprecedented impact, the World Trade Organization (WTO), which tuwaikiri ran for director general, is the battlefield of close combat. According to the outside world, one of the important reasons for the early departure of the current WTO director general is the irreconcilable contradiction between the open trade and international cooperation advocated by him and the international trade disputes constantly provoked by President trump of the United States. During the meeting with, tuwikiri repeatedly stressed that if he can be elected director general successfully, he will promote all members to reach a consensus and then implement the reform. This is the common goal of almost all candidates, but it is far more difficult to achieve it than to propose it. The Saudi media are optimistic about tuwaikiri’s campaign path. A commentary published in the Middle East newspaper, which is funded by the Saudi consortium and headquartered in London, UK, said that Saudi Arabia’s assumption of the annual rotating presidency of the G20 would be beneficial to tuwikiri, but the article also acknowledged that it was very difficult to win the election, but “it is important to have the opportunity to nominate candidates for the head of international organizations. Saudi Arabia must have a place in these organizations, whether they are political or economic. “. As a former fighter novel coronavirus pneumonia, the goal of the WTO’s entry into the WTO is good for Saudi Arabia. Even if it is not elected, the attitude shown in the government’s nomination is ten important for diplomacy, especially in the environment of the new crown pneumonia and the continuous decline of oil prices. New weapons are needed.