China Steps Into The Middle East Maelstrom

Submitted by James Dorsey,

The Middle East has a knack for sucking external powers into its conflicts. China’s ventures into the region have shown how difficult it is to maintain its principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

China’s abandonment of non-interference is manifested by its (largely ineffective) efforts to mediate conflicts in South Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan as well as between Israel and Palestine and even between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It is even more evident in China’s trashing of its vow not to establish foreign military bases, which became apparent when it established a naval base in Djibouti and when reports surfaced that it intends to use Pakistan’s deep sea port of Gwadar as a military facility.

This contradiction between China’s policy on the ground and its long-standing non-interventionist foreign policy principles means that Beijing often struggles to meet the expectations of Middle Eastern states. It also means that China risks tying itself up in political knots in countries such as Pakistan, which is home to the crown jewel of its Belt and Road Initiative — the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Middle Eastern autocrats have tried to embrace the Chinese model of economic liberalism coupled with tight political control. They see China’s declared principle of non-interference in the affairs of others for what it is: support for authoritarian rule. The principle of this policy is in effect the same as the decades-old US policy of opting for stability over democracy in the Middle East.

It is now a risky policy for the United States and China to engage in given the region’s post-Arab Spring history with brutal and often violent transitions. If anything, instead of having been ‘stabilised’ by US and Chinese policies, the region is still at the beginning of a transition process that could take up to a quarter of a century to resolve.

There is no guarantee that autocrats will emerge as the winners.

China currently appears to have the upper hand against the United States for influence across the greater Middle East, but Chinese policies threaten to make that advantage short-term at best.

Belt and Road Initiative-related projects funded by China have proven to be a double-edged sword. Concerns are mounting in countries like Pakistan that massive Chinese investment could prove to be a debt trap similar to Sri Lanka’s experience.

Chinese back-peddling on several Pakistani infrastructure projects suggests that China is tweaking its approach to the US$50 billion China–Pakistan Economic Corridor. The Chinese rethink was sparked by political volatility caused by Pakistan’s self-serving politics and continued political violence — particularly in the Balochistan province, which is at the heart of CPEC.

China decided to redevelop its criteria for the funding of CPEC’s infrastructure projects in November 2017. This move seemingly amounted to an effort to enhance the Pakistani military’s stake in the country’s economy at a time when they were flexing their muscles in response to political volatility. The decision suggests that China is not averse to shaping the political environment of key countries in its own authoritarian mould.

Similarly, China has been willing to manipulate Pakistan against its adversaries for its own gain. China continues to shield Masoud Azhar (who is believed to have close ties to Pakistani intelligence agencies and military forces) from UN designation as a global terrorist. China does so while Pakistan cracks down on militants in response to a US suspension of aid and a UN Security Council monitoring visit.

Pakistan’s use of militants in its dispute with India over Kashmir serves China’s interest in keeping India off balance — a goal which Beijing sees as worthy despite the fact that Chinese personnel and assets have been the targets of a low-level insurgency in Balochistan. Saudi Arabia is also considering the use of Balochistan as a launching pad to destabilise Iran. By stirring ethnic unrest in Iran, Saudi Arabia will inevitably suck China into the Saudi–Iranian rivalry and sharpen its competition with the United States. Washington backs the Indian-supported port of Chabahar in Iran — a mere 70 kilometres from Gwadar.

China is discovering that it will prove impossible to avoid the pitfalls of the greater Middle East. This is despite the fact that US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman seem singularly focussed on countering Iran and Islamic militants.

As it navigates the region’s numerous landmines, China is likely to find itself at odds with both the United States and Saudi Arabia. It will at least have a common interest in pursuing political stability at the expense of political change — however much this may violate its stated commitment to non-interference.

*  *  *

Dr James M Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.



NumbersUsa ScratInTheHat Sat, 02/17/2018 - 22:18 Permalink

"Politicians from Senators Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch to Chuck Schumer and Ron Wyden have been outspoken in their condemnation of Saturday’s Unite the Right March in Charlottesville and the vicious acts of terror it spawned by Jewish created & funded virulent Antifa anti-white hate groups.  

Meanwhile, the same senators are united by their ardent support for a racist regime that is no less inspired by racial Jew supremacy and an ideology that demands ethnic cleansing of all whites.

All have signed on to a bill that would protect the state of so-called state of Israel by imposing civil and possibly criminal penalties on anyone who protests its ongoing violations of Palestinian rights, including illegal settlement and dispossession, by advocating for the boycott of its economic, academic and cultural institutions.

In doing so, these Senators have placed protecting Israel and its hateful racially discriminatory policies above the rights of activists who are inspired by the same commitment to justice as the demonstrators who opposed the open display of virulent hatred and anti-whitism in Charlottesville".

In reply to by ScratInTheHat

Slack Jack NumbersUsa Sun, 02/18/2018 - 02:58 Permalink

There are no ancient Jewish cities in Israel,...
but there are lots of ancient Greek cities.

What is weird is this; that 2000 years ago, it seems that there were no people even resembling Jews, in Israel.

It turns out that there is not a single ancient Jewish city in what is now called Israel. There is not a single ancient city where Hebrew characters are used on the statues and buildings. There is not a single ancient city where the buildings are in the ancient Jewish architectural style. In fact, there is not even a category of "ancient Jewish architectural style".

Of course, the Hebrew characters that are desired, are those of the Dead Sea scrolls (supposedly from 2000 years ago), which are essentially the modern Hebrew characters without points.

If you check out all the ancient cities in Israel from 2000 years ago, they are all Greek, and their ruins are still there for you to visit. Their inscriptions are in the Greek script and the buildings are in the ancient Greek architectural styles.

Here is a list of some of the known ancient Greek cities in (and near) Israel; Ecdippa, Seleucia, Ptolemais, Taricheia Arbela, Asochis, Sepphoris, Hippos, Dion, Sycaminum, Bucolon Polis, Itabyrium, Gadara, Abila, Dora, Comus, Gephrus, Crocodilion Polis, Caesarea, Straton's Tower, Narbata, Scythopolis, Pella, Samaria, Amathus, Ragaba, Gerasa, Apollonia, Sicima, Pegae, Joppa, Arimathea, Jamnia, Port of Jamnia, Lydda, Modiin, Aphaerema, Philadelphia, Birtha, Gazara, Beth Horon, Dok, Jericho, Samaga, Esbus, Medaba, Ladder of Tyre, Azotus, Port of Azotus, Accaron, Jerusalem, Ascalon, Anthedon, Gaza, Marissa, Beth Zur, Hebron, Adora, Engeddi.

The ancient Jewish cities in Israel are,....... well there aren't any. Not even one.

Here's an interesting example of a first century BC Greek inscription (i.e., in Greek letters) from Jerusalem's Temple Mount forbidding the entry of strangers to the Temple precinct.

The pictured stone was found in 1935. It was actually the second such warning-stone to be found, the first being discovered by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau in 1871. It was deemed so dangerous to the "Jews inhabited Israel 2000 years ago" theory, that it completely disappeared for 13 years before resurfacing in Istanbul, where, it was correctly calculated, it would not attract much attention.


The first Jerusalem Temple Mount warning-stone, now found in the Archaeology Museum, Istanbul, is pictured below:

It says (in Greek): "No stranger is to enter within the balustrade round the temple and enclosure. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue."

Slack Jack's CHALLENGE:

Name ONE ancient city (that existed in what is now called Israel) where the building inscriptions are all in Hebrew, and the buildings are constructed in the ancient Hebrew architectural style (whatever that may be).

Then give a summary of "the ancient Hebrew architectural style" (you will have to make this up as it does not yet exist).

Then give links to photos of the ancient building inscriptions which show that they are written in Hebrew.

Then show that the buildings are constructed in the ancient Hebrew architectural style (that you have just invented).

In reply to by NumbersUsa

Slack Jack Slack Jack Sun, 02/18/2018 - 02:59 Permalink

The Dead Sea scrolls Hoax.

The Dead Sea scrolls are a mixture of old documents that were hidden in a number of caves to be miraculously found and used to support the establishment of Israel, a country intended for Jews only.

The main document "finds" were in 1946 and 1947 in caves near the tiny ancient settlement of Qumran.

Israel was created in 1948.

The Dead Sea scrolls are the only really old (well supposedly really old) documents, in the Hebrew characters, that have ever been found. No other really old documents in the Hebrew characters have ever been found.

All other documents in Hebrew characters date from later than 800 AD.

Previous to the "finds", critics had pointed out the late date of all documents in Hebrew characters, and deduced that the Hebrew Old Testament must have been translated from the Greek Old Testament and not the other way round.

Then, low and behold,... a very timely miracle occurs.

The Dead Sea scrolls are "found" and dated to hundreds of years earlier than the oldest previously known documents in Hebrew characters.

Then, it is widely claimed that all the scrolls were produced and hidden in the Qumran caves before 70 AD (the supposed time of the mythical sack of Jerusalem by the Romans).

The critics are not given access to the scrolls nor even photographs of the text, lest they spoil the party.

In fact, for decades, only seven scholars are given access to the scrolls.

This goes on till certain critics are dead and the scrolls have been purged of all anachronisms (like Arabic numerals).

Then, in 1991, only 45 years after their "discovery", the Huntington Library, in San Marino, California, without consent, makes facsimile copies of the scrolls available to all.

So that, in brief, is the Dead Sea scrolls Hoax.

More, however, can be deduced....

One can even guess where the Dead Sea documents came from.

It turns out that some of the Dead Sea documents, for example, the "Damascus Document," are nearly identical to documents from the Genizah collection of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt. So, it is likely that many of the Dead Sea scrolls had their source there.

Worldwide, there are ten manuscripts of the "Damascus Document" from the Dead Sea scrolls and two from the Cairo Genizah. This strange distribution is a result of the fraud. The "Damascus Document" was first published in 1910 by Solomon Schechter in "Fragments of a Zadokite Work."

The Ben Ezra Synagogue was established around 900 AD.

Now, the Arabs have ruled Egypt since they defeated the Greek armies around 635 AD.

Now, the synagogue (and its Jews) existed happily, undisturbed, in Cairo, in the midst of the Islamic world.

So, maybe the original Jews were a group of Arabs.

This would explain why Hebrew and Arabic are nearly identical languages.

This would explain why the Hebrew and Islamic religious traditions are very similar.

And, it would also explain why Jews turned up in Spain with the Arabs (Moors).

Another couple of points:

It should also be noted that a few Jewish scholars (in particular, Solomon Zeitlin) have long insisted that the Dead Sea scrolls were a Medieval production. [Zeitlin was a well-known Talmudic scholar and would not claim this unless convinced it was true.]

Internal evidence from the scrolls themselves indicates a Medieval production. See, here.

And, the fact that many scrolls are written on vellum (90% of them) proves these are indeed a Medieval production.

It is estimated that 20 people occupied the site of Qumran (estimated by the number of inhabitants for whom there was room in the buildings). Now these 20 people were not just ordinary people, they read and wrote Greek, Phoenician, Aramaic, Nabataean, and Hebrew documents, like natives, and managed to write learned works on numerous religious topics (about 900 manuscripts were "recovered"; about six hundred separate works), while gathering enough water, and raising enough food, for their survival, in a desert.

Some have tried to claim that as many as 200 lived at Qumran, but most have considered that number ridiculously high.

Anyway, I think it is clear that the Dead Sea scrolls are a bunch of old documents that have been thrown together and sold to a gullible world.

In reply to by Slack Jack

Benjamin123 Slack Jack Mon, 02/19/2018 - 05:29 Permalink

Not to take anything from your main argument but many of the cities you mentioned have hebrew names. Jerusalem, Beth Zur, Jericho?

Dunno about the hebrew characters. Could be, i have seen some of the ancient scripts and they look like a bunch of sticks. From what i understand the ancient hebrews/israelites spoke a bunch of languages that changed over the centuries, and by Jesus time they spoke aramaic.

In reply to by Slack Jack

HRClinton pier Sat, 02/17/2018 - 23:19 Permalink

As an objective outsider (atheist, i.e."without theism", but not necessarily non-spiritual), I observe the following as  Fight Club pugilist:

If this Hebrew deity were for real, he is (to quote the Hulk): "puny God".

For all the (alleged) effort on the part of Yahweh, the collection of losers kept getting their asses handed to them over and over. The last time it happened, the Romans leveled everything, and these "Chosenites" scattered like rats.

No DNA remains, to vet anyone's modern claims to said "Chosenites" in a paternity / maternity / lineage test that passes scientific mustard. Of course if you're a Zio-groveling, Buybull-thumping Hicktard, the DNA bar is far lower or non-existent.

Modern Yids talk a good story, but can't back it with jack shit. Which leaves me to conclude...

The only people who have the best claim to modern Israel -- or any piece of RE -- are those who can keep it by force. It's called Darwinism 101, FC pussycats. Thus, I don't have to agree with the "Jews" or Zionists, nor do I have to like them. The fact that they are complying with "Ownership is 100% of the Law" is good enough for me. Ditto for the next owner of that shitty piece of RE.

In reply to by pier

Lore HRClinton Sun, 02/18/2018 - 01:33 Permalink

+1 for critical thinking.

Powerful, psychopathic vested interests have worked hard for a very long time to prevent the different groups from exalting reasonableness, moderation, and pursuit of Truth.  What psychopath wants his followers to see through him, his strategy and his tactics?  Ergo, untold billions are spent weaving and reinforcing various mind-trapping narratives, funding so-called "color revolutions" and proxy terror groups, and committing false flags to keep everybody at odds with each other to varying degrees. 

The number one thing that every conscious, moral, responsible mind in the Middle East needs to do is think critically and deprogram: CUT THROUGH YOUR -ISMS.  Set aside ALL of the organized religions, and start thinking in terms of who really pulls the strings and meddles in the interests of whom, and for what real purposes!  That's the first step toward meaningful, lasting peace. It's not complicated, but after a lifetime of indoctrination, it is HARD and requires a certain willingness to accept personal responsibility for your actions.

In reply to by HRClinton

Ink Pusher pier Sun, 02/18/2018 - 08:56 Permalink

You are obviously historically challenged and a little short on the IQ scale.

This religious conflict has been going on for just under 1500 Years (Fifteen Centuries).

Go attempt to read some history and then attempt to create a cogent ,factual post.

Right now your credibility is sitting below CNN levels.

In reply to by pier

uhland62 pier Sun, 02/18/2018 - 01:09 Permalink

The Queen of England has no power. It is a long standing tradition that she does not interfere, although she sees the Prime Ministers often. If she had power, I am sure she would have prohibited Tony Blair from participating in the Iraq invasion because it was always clear that you can only destroy the country but what comes afterwards could not be controlled - tick.

We live in a time of transition. As long as the US had plenty of money she could buy herself allies. That's no longer the case - but they think people are cooperating with them for their pretty blue eyes. Gotto get the greenbacks out if you want something. 

In reply to by pier

octomancer pier Sun, 02/18/2018 - 05:39 Permalink

"Why don't they ever call the Queen of England the UK Autocrat?"

Because she isn't. I live here. Trust me, she's mistletoe:

A modest parasite that draws a little of its host's lifeforce in exchange for looking decorative. And sometimes can be cut down and strung up during national celebrations.

In reply to by pier

yogibear pier Sun, 02/18/2018 - 07:58 Permalink

Move over USA, China is taking over. Since the US handed over it's gold to the east and is heavily in debt, China is the new super-power/leader.

Also the the US is dependent on Chinese manufacturing and Indian software. Unlike Germany, the US gave everything away for short-term profits. The only thing the US does is manufacture debt. Like a global roach.

In reply to by pier

NumbersUsa stizazz Sat, 02/17/2018 - 21:53 Permalink

Yes, it's the murderous warmongering jew supremacists as always clamoring for more & more wars!

As the murderous jew supremacists love to say "we had a good day"

We the American People Demand that all Dual Citizen Israelis in all capacities (elected, employed or volunteer) be immediately removed from all our Federal, State & Local Governments- NOW !

We also Demand that All Jew Supremacist Foreign Agent Organizations In America be Prosecuted & Shut Down Immediately using the FARA ACT- NOW ! (A Short List: Aipac, Splc, Aclu, Zoa, Adl, Jwc, Jdl, Cfr,... etc...) 

In reply to by stizazz

LetThemEatRand Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:57 Permalink

I am so glad that our nation decided to give away our manufacturing technology and intellectual property to a country which is autocratic and which is quickly emerging as a global power in its own right, in order to enrich a bunch of oligarchs.

nmewn Pandelis Sat, 02/17/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

"he got a plane down with him"

Many people think Ron Brown was assassinated by the Klintons to cover up nefarious missile technology transferred from DoD purview to Commerce and then on to the Chi-Coms during the Klinton administration. It should have stayed under DoD, obviously.

Ron Brown was over Commerce at the time of his death. 


In reply to by Pandelis