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US senator: Saudi use of yuan 'big, bad thing', sign that America is weak

File photo shows Saudi oil giant Aramco’s facilities.

An American senator warns that China and Saudi Arabia’s potential ditching of the dollar in their bilateral oil trade could indicate a global shift away from the United States.

"Just this point of the Saudis pricing some of their commodity in Chinese currency or signaling that that’s where they’re headed, that is a big, bad thing," Ben Sasse, R-Neb.,told the Fox News on Sunday.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia was considering replacing the US dollar in favor of yuan in its oil sales to China.

Beijing and Riyadh have been discussing the potential since 2016, but the talks have made some progress recently, the paper added.

A move to conduct oil transactions with China in yuan would mark a substantial shift for the oil market, where 80 percent of sales are conducted in dollars, it reported.

Sasse accused China of trying to "displace the dollar," saying, "We need to keep our eye on this….”

The lawmaker said he was worried that world countries would be gravitating towards China out of concern that "America is weak."

The administration of US President Joe Biden, which has stopped its oil imports from Russia over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, has been trying to push Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates into increasing their oil production.

Earlier this month, Biden officials tried to contact the Persian Gulf states towards the purpose, but they both declined to receive their calls.

"We need our commander in chief to be strong, both in these conversations with Chairman Xi but more proximately in this moment with arming the Ukrainians immediately and rapidly," Sasse said.

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