Monday, June 5, 2017

How the Gulf row is blocking China’s new Silk Road

Rift between Qatar and its neighbours could disrupt key projects in Beijing’s sprawling trade initiative

Julia Hollingsworth

South China Morning Post - Tuesday, 06 June, 2017

A worsening rift between several Gulf Arab nations along China’s modern Silk Road trade route will make it harder for China to manage its ties in the region, according to analysts.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, citing Doha’s alleged links to terrorism.
The nations also said they planned to cut air and sea traffic, while Saudi Arabia announced it would shut its land border with Qatar, cutting the gas-rich nation off from the rest of the Arabian peninsula.
Qatar denies that it funds extremist groups.
The nations are involved in Xi Jinping’s ambitious “Belt and Road Initiative”, which stretches across 65 countries and encompasses Asia, Africa and Europe.
The Arab peninsula is the top source of oil for China, the world’s biggest oil importer. Global prices rose in early trading on Monday.