A shift in US focus could mean China’s growing influence in the Middle East: Experts

As the United States shifts its focus to domestic issues such as the fight against the pandemic, one expert says China will inevitably take over the Middle East.

The Middle East has historically been a global crossroads of trade and energy due to its abundance of fossil fuels. Over the years, the United States and China have relied on energy trade from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar, among many others.

Karim Sajadpur, a policy analyst at the Carnegie Foundation, believes the United States is moving away from the Middle East. In a panel discussion hosted by the Carnegie International Peace Fund on May 27, Sajadpur was a huge amount in the United States. He said the United States is no longer dependent on the Middle East because of its energy resources.

To date, the United States has played a major role in ensuring the security of Israel in the event of a conflict between Middle Eastern countries. Israeli security remains an important issue for Washington. However, according to Sajadpur, some progressives believe that Israel can take care of itself and no longer requires a commitment from the United States.

A streak of light can be seen as the Israeli Iron Dome anti-ship system, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, on May 12, 2021, intercepts a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. (Amir Cohen, Reuters)

“As the United States diminishes its presence in the region and external forces create blanks to fill the void, it is inevitable that China will play a more important role in filling some of these voids. I don’t think it’s because we get involved in the politics of the region in many ways, “said Sajadpur.

So far, Beijing’s main goal in the Middle East has been to ensure a free flow of energy from the region to China. For this to happen, there must be harmony between the countries of the Middle East.

Mr Sir Jhad Pul said China’s strategy in the Middle East has changed from apolitic and business relationships to more political ones. In recent weeks, China has been more involved in issues in the region. He added that despite the fact that China also has close ties to Israel, China criticizes Washington’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seeking justice for the Palestinians. ..

Sir Jhad Pul is also an Iranian expert. He cited Iran as an example of why he thinks China will face a backlash, similar to the backlash that Britain, France and the United States have received in the past. We are concerned that we are providing the technology to provide and suppress the citizens of our country. The Iranian regime uses oppressive tactics to maintain power.

“China stands between them [Iranian citizens] And it’s a more free society, “said Sajadpur. “As China’s presence in the region grows, it will be impossible for China to become a non-political economic player in the region, which will come at some cost and backlash.”

He recalled that 3 million people protested on the streets during the 2009 riots in Iran. Fraudulent Re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The crowd gathered at the University of Tehran for prayer on Friday, July 2009, was a big demonstration. The lyrics of the prayer were not the usual slogans of “Death of America” ​​or “Death of Israel,” but the rebel crowd chanted “with China” and “with Russia.” It’s a dictatorship, Sajadpur said.

Iran, along with the Iraqi and Yemeni militias, has considerable influence over its neighbors. Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil company Saudi Aramco in September 2019 caused a temporary rise in global oil prices. These problems have caused instability in the region. Sir Jhad Pul believes that it is impossible for China to remain apolitic while balancing sovereignty and stability.

The Epoch Times
September 25, during a “Caucasus-2020” military exercise in the Kapustin Yar Mountains in the Astrakhan region of southern Russia, bringing together military forces from China, Iran, Pakistan, Burma, and former Soviet Union Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus. Helicopter launches rocket, 2020. (Dimitar Dilkov / AFP via Getty Images)

Under the Beijing Belt and Road Initiative (BRI, also known as the Belt and Road), the transfer of resources between China and the Middle East is guaranteed. Launched in 2013, Belt and Road will bring the economic and political influence of China’s communist regime to Asia, Europe and Africa. Middle East By recreating the ancient Chinese Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road for 21st century trade. BRI has invested Chinese capital in the construction of various high-cost infrastructure projects in more than 60 participating countries.

In recent months, China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi have visited Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman. Their tour touched on the range of interest China has in the region today. 25-year strategic cooperation agreement Signed between China and Iran in March. This transaction includes economic activities such as oil and mining, infrastructure, tourism and cultural exchange.

Sir Jhad Pul believes things will become more difficult for the Chinese administration as its influence in the Middle East grows. China will see a general backlash, as the European powers have experienced in the past. “China is about to enter the ball game right now,” he said.

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