Biden’s trip ominous for the Middle East

President of the United States Joe Biden arrived in Israel on Wednesday, kicking off a four-day trip to the Middle East, which, whatever he claims to be the purpose of his visit, is primarily intended to persuade Saudi Arabia to raise its oil production.

A palliative approach as it is to address the highest inflation in the US since November 1981 that has seriously affected the life quality of Americans, with CPI surging at a blistering 9.1 percent in June, this is a matter of political expediency for his administration and his party as his approval ratings have dropped precipitously ahead of the midterm elections.

Biden will also seek to persuade Israel to stand together with the US and its allies behind Ukraine in the latter's conflict with Russia.

And Biden will hope to be able to undermine bilateral relations China has long maintained with Middle East countries by strengthening the relations between Israel and Arab countries fostered by the Abraham Accords brokered by the previous administration. What countries in the Middle East should be cautious about is how Biden's sowing the seeds of a new Cold War will impact the relations among countries in the region and their relations with countries outside the region.

That a memorandum of understanding on cooperation was signed last week by Riyadh and Washington on building a 5G cellular network in Saudi Arabia is obviously a move to box out China's 5G champion Huawei. It is also a sign that Washington is trying to get countries in the region which are cooperating with China under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative to hedge their bets.

But Washington is not really trying to promote development in the region. What Washington is doing just serves its own geopolitical game.

Wherever there is US presence, there is trouble. Look at the mess it has left behind in various parts of the world. Countries in the Middle East should never forget the turmoil the US has created in the region in the past decades.

Now Biden is making his first visit to the region as US president, with his administration still following a Cold War playbook. That bodes ill, as Europe has found out to its cost.

Top US officials have already expressed their concern about China's growing influence in the Middle East. If the US insists on viewing the region through the lens of its competition with China it will only bring more trouble to the region, as any US efforts to counter and disrupt China's cooperation with partners in the region will sabotage the region's development momentum and further destabilize it.