After Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, it emerged that Saudi Arabia was ready to invest in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.The significant thing out of Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia is the fact that Pakistan-China and Pakistan-Saudi relations are going to stay as the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Though the news made a good impression inside Pakistan, it also raised some eyebrows at the international level. At present, both US and India stand overtly opposed to the CPEC. Traditionally, Saudi Arabia enjoys good relationship with the US. Around a year ago, both the countries signed deals worth more than US $350 billion during President Trump’s first visit to one of America’s closest allies in the region.In fact, Trump is the only US president who chose Saudi Arabia as the destination for his maiden foreign visit, which did give a signal to the world that the US under the Republican Party considers the Middle Eastern geo-politics important as ever. And this was obvious as Middle Eastern region has always caught the attention of the administrations under the Republican Party, with preservation of Israel and an eye on oil in the region being the top objectives. But the question arises that since the US has not been an admirer, if not an opponent, of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and is now also involved in a trade war with China, how will it react to the news of Saudi Arabia investing in the CPEC?Beyond any doubt, the joining of Saudi Arabia will further strengthen the initiative. Even if Saudi Arabia invests in some of the major projects under CPEC, it will contribute to Pakistan’s faltering economy. If one closely investigates how the US has been handling its relationship with Pakistan under President Trump, one would find an obvious pattern: getting things done by pointing finger at ‘sensitivities’ of Pakistan, especially by using Pakistan’s economic vulnerabilities.Suspension of the coalition support fund, FATF episode, and using American influence in the world financial institutions — World Bank and the IMF — to stop any possible funding to Pakistan are the recent archetypal examples of how the US wants to get things done here.Even if Saudi Arabia joins CPEC as an investor, it will contribute to Pakistan’s faltering economy. Already, under President Trump’s administration, the US has been using Pakistan’s economic vulnerabilities to manipulate themFragile economics has always remained Pakistan’s ‘Achilles heel’ which forced Pakistan to take some not-so-famous decisions in the past vis-à-vis the US.China has emerged as the second largest economy in the world. Saudi Arabia is one of the top oil producers in the world. Pakistan can play an important role in connecting China and Saudi Arabia, both in terms of trade and the geo-politics. Since China imports oil from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan could act as an artery between the two. With CPEC in place and Gwadar fully operational, Pakistan can provide the shortest route for Saudi-China trade, which will also considerably reduce the cost of transportation.The writer has been working as Research Fellow at Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI), Pakistan. His area of research is US affairs (internal and external). He can reached at firstname.lastname@example.orgPublished in Daily Times, October 8th 2018.