Tensions are flaring between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, prompting the oil-rich desert kingdom to forger closer economic and energy ties with another world power: China. But don't look for China to replace the U.S. as Saudi Arabia's closest ally any time soon.
This weekend's talks between Iran and Western powers over that country's nuclear ambitions ended with no deal in place, but that doesn't mean the Saudis weren't shocked and upset by the U.S. move to thaw long-frozen relations with Iran, Saudis Arabia's greatest regional and religious rival.
Saudi Arabia was already disappointed by the Obama administration's decision to side with Russia and opt against military strikes on Syria, effectively ending Saudi hopes that the U.S. would turn the tide against the Iran-allied government of Bashar Assad in Damascus.
"The Syrian issue was the straw that broke the camel's back. The kingdom is concerned that any victory for Assad would boost Iran's regional influence," Naser Al-Tamimi, author of "China-Saudi Arabia Relations, 1990-2012: Marriage of Convenience or Strategic Alliance?" explained to CNBC.
(Read more: Oil prices may be losing Iranian 'risk premium)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Riyadh last week before traveling to talks on Iran, but in a veiled message, his Saudi counterpart conveyed that the U.S. needed to do more.
"A true relationship between friends is based on sincerity, candor and frankness, rather than mere courtesy," Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal said during a joint news conference.