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China's reliable foothold for strategic foreign relations
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China's reliable foothold for strategic foreign relations

At present, the nature of Beijing's economic and trade relations with the countries of the region is changing, especially after the US's scandalous flight from Afghanistan and US inaction in Iraq, In this case, China is willingly or unwillingly the only country that has the capacity to fill the power vacuum of US defeat in this area.

NOURNEWS - Over the past decades, China's foreign policy has traditionally focused on developing cooperation with some countries and, at most, on improving relations with East Asian countries in order to develop trade and economic relations, until Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.

China has since pursued its regional and trans-regional geostrategic interests in structuring trade and economic relations with long-term goals.

By adopting a policy of structuring relations, Beijing is now playing the role of a superpower on the world stage and has gained a special reputation among the countries of the world as the silent rival of the United States in the political, economic, and security fields.

This position has given China confidence that it has even agreed to abandon the Communist Party's ideological confrontations in foreign policy.

China's foreign policy range now extends to the Asia-Pacific area and is at the crossroads of strategic links in a globally competitive region.

In this regard, the West Asian region has become more important to China economically, politically, and geostrategically in recent years, but there is a fundamental question as to how deep China's Middle East policy will be and what its focal point in West Asia will be. The country is centralized, and to what extent will China's tools and capital be used to achieve its goals in competition with the United States in the region?

West Asia has long lacked the necessary priorities in China's foreign policy strategies, and China's interests have been limited to energy supply and security in the region.

Beijing had even adopted a security structure in the Persian Gulf under US hegemonic power to secure its energy imports from the region.

In other words; During the "strategic dormancy", China did not consider competing with the United States in the West Asian region and considered the US presence in the region practically acceptable.

China's foreign and security policy, which has coincided with the US and its European allies' invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq over the past two decades, is actively pursuing diplomacy, waiting for an opportunity from Western mistakes.

With the instability created by the United States in West Asia, Xi Jinping in 2014 focused on cooperation with countries in the region in several key areas such as "energy is a top priority in cooperation", "foreign trade must be structured" and "cooperation in the field of industry". "High-tech and renewable energies must begin for the globalization of power."

By adopting various programs, China's oil needs were decentrally supplied from West Asia, so that in 2019, a total of 43 countries exported oil to China, of which 9 West Asian countries supplied about 45% of China's oil.

China's trade with the Persian Gulf states has also increased sharply in recent years, with Beijing gradually becoming the region's most important economic and investment partner.

China was the largest trading partner of the Persian Gulf countries in 2020, with trade volume with Saudi Arabia at $ 67 billion (4.1% of China's total foreign trade), with the UAE $ 3.49 billion (1.1%), with Iraq $ 30 billion (0.6%) and With Iran, it amounted to $ 15 billion (0.3%).

At present, the nature of Beijing's economic and trade relations with the countries of the region is changing, especially after the US's scandalous flight from Afghanistan and US inaction in Iraq, and China is willingly or unwillingly the only country that has the capacity to fill the power vacuum of US defeat. Has in the area.

China has entered the field of geostrategic competition with the United States in West Asia, passing through a policy of restraint and non-intervention.

In this regard, the revelation of China's nuclear energy cooperation with Saudi Arabia, as well as the delivery of ballistic missiles and the provision of related technologies to Saudi Arabia, along with a 25-year long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Iran, indicate that China has decided to be more active with its dynamic diplomacy. To improve its position in the West Asian region by developing relations with Iran and other countries in the Persian Gulf region, with balanced economic and even security cooperation.

It may be argued that in the current context, China has replaced the policy of non-intervention with a policy of prudent balancing with all countries in the region, especially between Iran and its neighbors, while the United States envisions a comprehensive confrontation with China in the Indo-Pacific region. Political, economic, and security alliances such as AUKUS and Quad are trying to threaten China's security.

Of course, according to the Politics of Related Articles Act, China has also somehow risen to the traditional security sphere of the United States and West Asia.

Thus, China's new political, economic, and security plans in West Asia have clashed with the United States and its European allies, especially Britain, France, and Germany, in the region.

Without a strategic regional and global ally, China, in a dual balance of power with the United States and its regional Arab allies, is at a historic juncture to expand and consolidate its influence in the region, which can only maintain its presence with a strong strategic partner in West Asia.

Iran is the only country that can be an effective strategic partner for Beijing due to its privileged geopolitical position as well as its economic and manpower capacities as well as its international ties.

As a regional and trans-regional hub and having a multifaceted geopolitical connection with the Middle East, Europe, the subcontinent, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, Iran has the capacity to connect the economies of sixty countries on three continents: Asia, Europe, and Africa.

The shift in US tactics from West Asia to the Indo-Pacific region and the relative geostrategic slippage of the world from Europe and West Asia to the Indo-Pacific now potentially shift Iran from a similar position to that of Turkey during the Cold War. And Western Europe has enjoyed the former Soviet Union.

Iran's domination of the Strait of Hormuz and ensuring the security of energy transfer from this strait to Asia and Europe potentially double our geopolitical dimensions in China's economy, especially since China is still thinking about Persian Gulf oil to ensure its energy security, because it is the most cost-effective. It is a long-term energy supply channel for China and reduces China's dependence on the Straits of Malacca.

The Malacca Strait is China's Achilles heel in the event of a conflict with the United States, but the construction of the China-Pakistan-Iran-Turkey energy pipeline project in 2015 will reduce the threatening importance of the Malacca Strait to China and import energy. It provides cheaper and safer for China.

There is another large and historic project that could pave the way for the Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad-China railway connection. The project was launched in early 2021 between the governments of Iran, Turkey, and Pakistan.

This connection could in turn improve and accelerate road connections for the Chinese One Belt-One Road project in this part of the world, especially since Beijing also has the capital and technical know-how to build both projects.

BY: Mohammad Ghaderi


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