China, Iran and the quarter of a century alliance!

April 16, 2021
China, Iran and the quarter of a century alliance!
Hailah Al-Mushawah

AMID changing global political scenario and unprecedented circumstances, China and Iran have signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement for 25 years. The development has taken everyone by surprise.

In fact, China and Iran are two totally different countries in terms of strategies, cultures, and politics, and they are united only by their anger toward the United States. And hence, the question is, will this partnership succeed?

When we carefully read the Chinese scene, it becomes clear to us that China is a nuclear superpower that relies on a solid and influential economy and an ancient history full of diverse cultures, with vast land and a mammoth human force exceeding 1.4 billion, but at the same time, it does not seek to impose its own culture and slogans on others as the West does. Rather it boasts of its “One China” policy and its economy that has flooded world markets with goods and commodities, and these markets include countries that seek to inflame the international community against China and fuel separatist elements within it.

And thus China has separated the chariot of its politics from the horse of its unruly economy that made it a superpower. Hence, China is a country that does not seek colonialism or military alliances or building armament regimes as much as its interest in an economic hegemony; and that is obvious from its behavior through the Belt and Road Initiative. This initiative is very similar to the American Marshall Plan, which in fact sought to help the western European countries battered by World II, revitalized the American economy and made it the most powerful economy in the world to date.

The Belt and Road Initiative is a renewed version of the Chinese Silk Road for trade in the 19th century to keep pace with the immediate changes of the era by transporting Chinese goods and conducting trade exchanges through the maritime belt and the land road on which it is based. The initiative has a huge budgetary allocation that has exceeded $1trillion and could reach $8 trillion in the future or by the estimated end of the last phases of the project in 2049.

This huge financing would be achieved through an economic plan in which China relied on integrating a number of local banks into the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank, with the aim of moving from the stage of the world’s second economy after America to the first economy without any competition.

It is noteworthy that China’s trade exchange with America exceeds $600 billion annually, of which $500 billion are Chinese exports to America compared to $100 billion US exports to China. For example, Amazon, the American e-commerce giant, depends on Chinese goods by more than 85 percent!

In fact, what is lacking in China is not manpower or technology. Rather, it lacks energy as it imports more than 10 million barrels of oil per day from several countries, the most important of which are Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran. For this reason, China needed to conclude the 25-year agreement with Iran, which in turn did not hesitate to accept an offer that would save it from its harsh reality of a collapsed economy with the lowest value for its land, assets and oil as it has been reeling under the stifling US sanctions linked to its nuclear program. The economic crisis and popular discontent are in a state of constant explosion in that country. The agreement, with its secrecy and ambiguity to date, relies on the low-priced Iranian oil, but for what?

Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region are well aware of the fact that Iran will not be distracted with any of such agreements from its reckless acts and regional terrorism. Rather, this could double its subversive acts.

And this makes us take into account that China is among the five + one (P5+1) countries with its permanent seat in the UN Security Council and among the six countries involved in the Iranian nuclear file with a right to veto any decision against its quarter of a century ally!

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