Back on June 27, 2003, we talked about 12 under-rated global trends. Trend #11, complete with link: China's race into the oil market. bq. "Growing wealth is prompting millions of Chinese to abandon bicycles and overcrowded mass transit in favor of private cars. Last year, China's domestic automobile sales increased by a staggering 69 percent. By 2010, the country is expected to have 90 times more cars on the road than it did in 1990; by 2030, it may have more than the U.S. Such a gigantic fleet requires fuel. But China’s domestic oil production is declining..." Now Gal Luft of IAGS pens an article that covers the growing relationships between China and Saudi Arabia, the possibility that the Saudis themselves may seek to replace the U.S. as their primary benefactor, and the implications for WMD proliferation and global geopolitics. Trent Telenko has been talking about China's role in Pakistan's nuclear program (and others) for some time now. For me, the question is not whether China will attempt to become a player in the Middle East - as Luft points out, it is already beginning to do so in Sudan. What's left is only the timing of China's entry, its manner, and the extent to which its coming role as a major source of support for the region's dictators hinders both U.S. goals in the War on Terror and the possibility of a better, freer future for the region.