Warming ties between China and Saudi Arabia—which is traditionally a U.S. ally in the Middle East.
There, Washington is battling for influence with Beijing and the scale is seemingly tipping in China’s favor.
Beijing is opening a Confucius Institute in Saudi Arabia. China touts them as cultural and language centers, but critics say these institutes spread communist influence, and bring Chinese state censorship into the classroom.
The US used to host many Confucius institutes on campuses, but dozens have been shuttered due to controversies over their communist influence.