By brokering a deal between Iran and Saudi Arabia, China is trying to ensure two of its most important partners in the Middle East get along so Beijing can achieve its economic and political goals, experts say.

Why it matters: The Middle East has become a major battleground for influence as Washington and Beijing both seek to strengthen their ties and mend relations between their friends in the region.

  • A lasting detente between Saudi Arabia and Iran could reduce violence and instability, as both countries have long engaged in proxy wars across the region. By getting involved, China is investing its diplomatic and reputational capital in trying to bring together two of the region’s most bitter rivals — something other nations haven’t been able to do.
  • But, “this is about bloc-building rather than peace-building,” Andrew Small, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States’s Indo-Pacific program, told Axios.

The big picture: Beijing’s ambitions for its role in the Middle East are growing, just as the West is seeking to restrict China’s access to Western technology and markets.

Read in full at AXIOS

This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.