March 22, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10535

Cartoons In Arab Media: China Is A Rising Power In The Middle East – At The Expense Of The U.S.

March 22, 2023
Iran, Saudi Arabia, China | Special Dispatch No. 10535

Following the unexpected March 10, 2023 announcement of the China-brokered renewal of Saudi-Iranian ties[1] after a seven-year hiatus, Arab media published cartoons implying that China's mediation is viewed as an expression of the country's rising superpower status in the Middle East and of the erosion of the U.S.'s status and influence in the region.

This report presents some of these cartoons:

China pulls the rug of the Saudi-Iranian dialogue out from under the feet of the U.S. (Source:, March 16, 2023)

The Chinese dragon triumphs over the U.S. on the chessboard of the Middle East (Source: Al-Arab, London, March 17, 2023)

The U.S. fears China's rising power (Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, March 13, 2023)

The U.S. is odd man out in the game of musical chairs (Source:, March 14, 2023)

China enjoys petroleum following the Saudi-Iranian agreement (Source:, March 14, 2023)

The Saudi-Iranian agreement was "Made in China" (Source: Nidaa Al-Watan, Lebanon, March 14, 2023)

A Chinese dragon incorporates a Saudi-Iranian peace dove (Source: Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, London, March 12, 2023)


[1] For more on the Saudi-Iranian agreement and reactions to it in the Saudi press, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10522, In Saudi Press, Cautious Optimism Follows Saudi-Iranian Renewal Of Relations, March 13, 2023.

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