So a few days ago the president of China made this speech at a trade mission to the Middle East at Arab League Headquarters. China has already proposed massive aid and loans for Africa and now they are increasing trade and cooperation with the Arab nations in the Middle East.
Chinese President Xi’s first quotable statement is remarkable, and should be taught in schools. That the only really constructive interaction is dialogue. That violence does not offer actual solutions to the cause of strife, but dialogue actually addresses issues. To approach the Middle East with diplomacy while the American republican candidates are chanting about bombing everyone into the stone age is very telling.
“The key to addressing differences is to enhance dialogue. Use of force offers no solution to problems, neither will zero-sum mentality bring enduring peace. The process of dialogue could be protracted, and may even suffer setbacks, but it entails minimal adverse after-effects and produces the most sustainable outcome. “
He goes on to provide details of the Chinese plans towards achieving peace and immediately prepossess self rule and self reliance for Palestine and a surprising promise of aid that will put China at odds with Israel and by association, America.
China firmly supports the Middle East peace process and supports the establishment of a State of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. We understand the legitimate aspirations of Palestine to integrate into the international community as a state. We are in favor of putting in place a new mechanism to promote peace on the Middle East question and support efforts made by the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation toward this end. To improve Palestinian people’s well-being, the Chinese government will provide 50 million RMB yuan of grant to the Palestinian side and support the solar power station project in Palestine.
He goes on to address the situation in Syria and other related hotspots that America and it’s allies have attempted to address via force and offering aid to those nations towards rebuilding.
The current state of affairs in Syria is unsustainable. There will be no winner out of a conflict, and it is the people in the region who suffer. To address the hot-spots, what is most urgent now is to bring about ceasefire. Political dialogue is the path to a fundamental solution. At the same time, humanitarian assistance brooks no delay. This year, the Chinese side will provide 230 million RMB yuan of additional humanitarian assistance to the people of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and Yemen.
China has already entered strategic partnerships with eight Arab states and signed agreements with six other middle eastern states regarding the Belt and Road Initiative, and seven Arab states are founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Linking the economy of the Middle East to the rest of Asia, with China as the hub of this wheel.
So where does the Chinese government’s aid and diplomacy lead? Well he tells us.
Where China once sat quietly within it’s fortified house, it now has stepped out into the world and challenges America on the playing field of global governance. Where America always seems to be the first to rush into another nation as a military or a trade partner or political adviser, China now plans to fill that same role. Offered modestly rather then with the brash bravado we are so use to seeing with the Americans.
One of our priorities is to take an active part in global governance, pursue mutually beneficial cooperation, assume international responsibilities and obligations, expand convergence of interests with other countries and forge a community of shared future for mankind.
His speech goes on to address terrorism in a way the Western governments don’t perceive it, but in a way that the Middle East will recognize without question. To the nations in the Middle East, ISIS and the Taliban are not the only terrorists. While America and it’s allies may see themselves as the savior of the people, many of the people in the Middle East, and their respective governments have a different view. Yes America has deposed abusive dictators in their nations, but in many cases only after putting that person in the office to begin with. They have learned over decades that the good will of America is dependent on their fulfilling certain obligations that benefit America, and that balking at those restrictions can have serious if not fatal consequences.
The Middle East has become jaded to the aid the west brings to it. The suffering of the population never seems to fade and that every time America leaves, a new bloody conflict rises to fill the void. If the new government is anti American, America and it’s weapons will return, if the new government strives for independent solutions that do not comply with the West’s ideology, America will return. America is the evangelistic missionary knocking on the doors of nations asking if they have discovered the Western way. For generations we have seen this, through colonialism, from the French, the Italians, the British and now America.
As a result, China’s offer may seem the better option. China has not vilified the Middle East, has not replaced governments with hand picked puppets, and most importantly, has not bombed the Middle Eastern nations. They may well be seen as a viable option towards taking a new direction towards prosperity, and have the military power to shield those nations from further American adventurism. The Chinese play upon this very thought by addressing terrorism, in all it’s forms, and while not pointing any fingers I would not be surprised if the American flag did not pop into some of the gathered leaders heads when the following was said.
Terrorism knows no borders. There is no distinction between good and bad terrorism. And there should be no double standards in fighting terrorism. For the same reason, terrorism shall not be linked with any specific ethnic group or religion, as it will only create ethnic and religious tensions. No policy can be effective on its own, and a comprehensive strategy that addresses both symptoms and root causes must be applied in the fight against terrorism.
Xi offered equipment he said is “of high quality yet inexpensive price. Combined with technology transfer, personnel training and strong financing support, they can help countries in the Middle East develop urgently needed industries such as iron and steel, non-ferrous metals, construction materials, glass, car manufacturing and power plant with relative low cost to fill the gap in their industrial structure and foster new comparative advantages. China’s competitive production capacity and the human resources in the Middle East, when combined, will deliver more and better job opportunities for the region.”
A standard Geo-political offer, but extremely rare coming from China.
Which brings us to the investment that China is offering to the Arab nations. A rather generous and appealing package that they would be hard pressed to ignore.
In order to promote the industrialization process of the Middle East, China will work with Arab states to launch an action plan for production capacity cooperation. Under this initiative, China will set up a US$15 billion special loan for industrialization in the Middle East to be used on production capacity cooperation and infrastructure projects in regional countries, and provide countries in the Middle East with US$10 billion of commercial loans to support production capacity cooperation. China will also provide US$10 billion of concessional loans with even more favorable terms for regional countries. Meanwhile, China will launch a US$20 billion joint investment fund with the UAE and Qatar to primarily invest in traditional energy, infrastructure development and high-end manufacturing industries in the Middle East.
He they punctuates that promise with a surprisingly clear strike at American intervention and the Trumpism that is so vocal in the U.S. and due to massive media coverage is becoming the international view of America. While Donald Trump apears almost daily in the news around the world deriding cultures, religions and race. President Xi comes to their defense.
Think about this. One of the most xenophobic cultures in the world, embracing diversity. That’s a massive change in China’s political and cultural stance.
The Middle East is the meeting place of ancient human civilizations and home to diverse and splendid civilizations and cultures. China will continue to unswervingly support Middle East and Arab states in preserving their ethnic and cultural traditions, and oppose all forms of discrimination and prejudice against specific ethnic group and religion.
I predict that the Arab nations will leap on this opportunity for development that cuts it’s dependence on the American influence. While they have been forced to do business with America for economic and political reasons, there is little trust of American intentions.
Iran will be first to shake hands with China over these proposals, then many of the southern and eastern Arab nations will begin to turn their faces Eastward for economic stability and growth. Saudi Arabia and Egypt may take longer due to their tighter relations with the west.
In the end, as America becomes more and more xenophobic, threatening and desperate as it’s influence as the World’s only super power fades. China awakes and reaches out it’s hand as an alternative to America, and expands their influence around the Globe.
The next decade will be interesting, as I expect China to continue it’s ‘long game’ and slowly expand and challenge the American influence rather then leap forward, but there is no question that China is awake and casting a longer shadow then it has in decades, how far the shadow grows depends entirely on how far the sun sets on America.
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