China has called Saudi Arabia a ‘comprehensive strategic partner’ and said arms deals do not violate international law [File: Damir Sagoli/Reuters]

Saudi Arabia has significantly escalated its ballistic missile programme by buying technology from China, according to a US media report.

In a story published on Wednesday, broadcaster CNN said the United States government had obtained intelligence on the technology transfers, but the administration of US President Donald Trump did not initially share its knowledge with key members of Congress.

Jeff Stacey, a US national security consultant who worked at the State Department under former President Barack Obama, told Al Jazeera the news report was “significant and alarming”. 

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“The key questions is: is this administration, in any way, not just aware of this, but colluding with this? Are

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