Thursday 16 March 2023 - 21:39

China – From a Mediator to a Major International Player

Story Code : 1047113
China – From a Mediator to a Major International Player
There are many reviews, and perhaps the most prominent of them are those issued in the US. The most informative of all assessments is what US diplomat Jeffrey Feltman wrote in an article for Brookings Institution. He believed that “China is growing and establishing itself as a leading diplomatic force in the Middle East.”
The American opinions expressed in the press show the extent of the apprehension of Beijing hosting its guests, and the extent of its influence today on the international political map. The Wall Street Journal considered the Chinese effort a “new model for managing relations between countries,” while Fox News concluded that “American influence is eroding”. As for the New York Times, it concluded that “the United States has become on the sidelines and there is no way to beat Beijing."
Director of China in Arab Eyes, Ali Raya, said in an interview with al-Ahed news website, that the Chinese initiative produced a historic reconciliation between the two most influential countries in the world.
Raya says, “The step began with an idea presented by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2022 on the sidelines of the Arab-Chinese summit in Riyadh. At first, the talk centered on an effort to hold an Iranian-Gulf summit, however, it was agreed that work would begin to conduct negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran for to resolve the differences between them and restore diplomatic relations that were severed since 2016”.
According to Raya, because the exchange between Beijing and each of Riyadh [$87 billion] and Tehran [$15 billion] is enormous, the Chinese focused on managing their initiative from a basic heading, which is taking into consideration the relationship with the Saudis as strategic because it secures a lot of oil resources, and with the Iranians on the basis of the great and long-standing commercial partnership, especially after signing strategic trade cooperation agreements for 25 years.
Nonetheless, Raya asserts that China is the biggest beneficiary of the reconciliation between Riyadh and Tehran. He points out that Saudi Arabia's considerations for advancing the Chinese initiative are based on Iran's position in relation to Beijing and fears of the Chinese position in the event of any escalation between Saudi Arabia and Iran; hence, China worked to bring the views of both parties closer together and rose to a more serious level, leading to the conclusion of this agreement, which eliminates Saudi fears towards China before Iran.
Raya points out that “US hegemony is gradually declining, and the course of the Russia-Ukraine war confirms this”. He considers that “today, the Chinese need to build a kind of new world order, as well as the Russians, so that they are not in confrontation with any party in any future wars or conflicts.”
Accordingly, China's effort establishes a new and effective role in the region that will inevitably lead to the mitigation of US control, which depends on consolidating the idea of hostility to Iran. According to Raya’s vision, which notes that what made this initiative succeed was the integrity of the mediation that China managed, in contrast to the performance of the Americans in the previous period when they were mediating between certain countries and working to sabotage relations and thwart efforts with propaganda management of the intended effort.
With the announcement of the Saudi-Iranian reconciliation, questions began to be raised about the possibility of holding an expanded Iranian-Gulf summit soon. Here, Raya believes that it is likely to happen, given that “what happened between Riyadh and Tehran is consistent with the origin of the initiative and how it was launched at the Chinese-Arab summit at the end of 2022.” He added, “and since the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran has begun to improve, it can be said that this atmosphere will apply to all countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.”