White House mindful of China's attempts for influence in Middle East

White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 28, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Saudi Arabia is an example of Chinese attempts to exert its influence around the world and it will not change U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told reporters that "it's certainly not a surprise that President Xi is traveling around," but that the United States was focused on its own partnership in the region.

"We are mindful of the influence that China is trying to grow around the world," he said.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.