Why should China fully support Iran in Persian Gulf tensions

TEHRAN, Jun. 20 (MNA) – According to many international thinkers creating tensions in the Persian Gulf region by the US also aims at containing China and limiting Beijing’s access to energy resources of the region, which is driving engine of Chinese economy.

China was one of the oil exporter countries in 70s and 80s, but following its economic growth it has turned into an oil importing country since 1993 and due to continuation of its economic growth now the country is heavily dependent on importing of oil from other countries. Nowadays the country is the second energy consuming and third oil importing country in the world. Despite the Beijing’s efforts to provide its energy security by diversifying its energy sources during the past years, the country is still heavily dependent on energy import.

Thanks to its efforts and hardworking people China left its global economic rivals behind and became the second biggest economy of the world after the United States. It seems that due to its plans and initiatives Beijing is also managing to leave behind the US in near future and become the world’s biggest economy. The White House has kept an eye the China’s development and its plans and initiatives. The US has never been negligent in monitoring China’s achievements and ambitions.

By changing its approaches and positive interaction with rest of the world Since 1970s, China has promoted its global position to the second biggest economy of the world while before it the country was among the third world countries. The US’s efforts to contain China has become more serious since the beginning of the 21st century. Since Donald Trump took office the level of conflicts between China and the US has climbed up from economic and trade level and is entering into political and security level. Now, Increase of Chinese power and global influence is a major challenge for the White House. In the first step president Trump waged wagged a trade and economic war against Beijing and in the next stage Trump is going to restrict China’s influence globally particularly among the US allies.

To contain China, the US has resorted to many strategies and tactics such as destabilizing west borders of China in Afghanistan and Pakistan and trying to spread to central Asia aiming at thwarting Chinese ‘One road-One belt’ initiative that many experts believe that success of this project will let China to determine the word trade orders in the future.  

Trying to intensify territorial disputes between China and its neighbors besides its trade war against Beijing are among another US tactics to contain China. 

Statistics from www.worldstopexports.com website indicates that China imports its needed crude oil from the following countries:

Russia: US$37.9 billion (15.8% of China’s total imported crude)

Saudi Arabia: $29.7 billion (12.4%)

Angola: $24.9 billion (10.4%)

Iraq: $22.4 billion (9.4%)

Oman: $17.3 billion (7.2%)

Brazil: $16.2 billion (6.8%)

Iran: $15 billion (6.3%)

Kuwait: $11.9 billion (5%)

Venezuela: $7 billion (2.9%)

United States: $6.8 billion (2.8%)

United Arab Emirates: $6.7 billion (2.8%)

Congo: $6.4 billion (2.7%)

Colombia: $5 billion (2.1%)

Malaysia: $4.8 billion (2%)

Libya: $4.7 billion (2%)

Crude oil import is driving engine of Chinese economy so any threats to energy security of China will inflict a heavy blow to the country’s economic growth and can help US to win trade war against Beijing and contain it.

Above mentioned statistics show that some 43% of the crude oil that China imports goes from Persian Gulf and 4.6% goes from Libya and Venezuela that the US destructive polices has already created a chaotic situation in two countries.

Many experts believe that the US withdrawal from Iran’s nuclear deal known as the JCPOA under false pretexts not only aims at pressurizing Iran but also it is a way to pressurize China to compromise in the trade war that Washington has waged against it. Any conflict and tension in the Persian Gulf region which China’s economy is heavily dependent on means a great blow to the country’s economy, therefore many suspicious incidents and tensions created by Washington and its proxies in Persian Gulf region like attacking oil tankers can be interpreted as the White House’s measures to contain China in order to guarantee the US hegemony and influence for the next decades. 

Commenting on possible relation between recent developments in Persian Gulf and its effects on China’s economy, Dr. Osman Faruk Logoglu a senior member of Tukey’s CHP and former diplomat says," With its provocative actions and sanctions, Washington not only aims to buttress its support for Israel and its Arab allies by punishing Iran but at the same time also intends to deny Chinese access to Iranian oil.  The fear of and rivalry with China is today one of the primary drivers of American foreign policy.  Interruption of the oil flow in the Gulf is one way to directly hurt Chinese interests.  The Trump administration is, therefore, playing with fire in Iran and a potential conflagration with China."

A senior Iranian analyst Sadeq Maleki also believes, “The rising tensions between the United States and Iran are mainly caused by Tehran’s independence policy and Washington’s intolerance toward this fact. However, such independence is considered as an exceptional opportunity for the Europeans and other states, especially China, that need to supply their energy from Iran and the Persian Gulf region. A big part of Washington's policy of fomenting tensions against Tehran and making the Persian Gulf region more volatile comes in line with the White House’s plan to contain China. Iran's resistance to the US’ pressure is in fact shaping an equation, in which the Islamic Republic indirectly contributes to the interests of China and even Europe. So, China and Europe are highly expected to help Iran in this regard. In a long-term strategic perspective, the US’ long distance from the Middle East, the dangers of insecurity in the Persian Gulf region, and the proximity of Europe and China to the region, heighten the need for greater coordination between Iran, China and Europe in countering the US’ aggressive attitudes.”

Zeynep Oktav, an international relation Professor at Istanbul Medeniyet University also sees a close relation between US created tensions in the Persian Gulf and containment of China. She said, “I believe there’s a close relation as Washington wants to dominate the Middle East with its efforts to exclude China from the region. In this context containing Iran is of crucial importance as China buys Iranian crude oil. China currently seems to change its previous policies of balancing Iran and USA. Beijing applies latest sanctions on Iran, however, it opposes any possibility of American military attack on Iran. In my opinion, USA challenges China by threatening Iran in the Middle East, the issue is not about Iran, it’s about China.”

Omid Shokri a US based senior energy security and policy Analyst says, “The trade war between the two world's top economic powers has negatively affected all markets in the world, and many countries are concerned about the slowdown in economic growth. The controversy has begun almost since Trump took office and has been intensified over the past year. Some Iranian officials believe the US-China trade war is a chance for Iran. They believe that China has established good business relations with the countries of the world and has recently made good investments in African countries and has promoted level of its relations with Africa, which has been successful all over the world until now. It is admirable and Iran should also take this to its national interests. During last decade China was of Iran major trade partner.”

Referring to tensions in Persian Gulf and the US-China trade war, Shukri says, “These are common threat for Iran and China.”

Even some experts who don’t believe in close relation between the ongoing US created tensions in Persian Gulf and containment of China by the US don’t reject the possibility totally and say the relation is indirect not direct.

Prof. Larry Catá Backer of Pennsylvania State University says, “Relation between Persian Gulf tensions and US-China negotiations may reflect post facto efforts to exploit serendipitous perceive opportunity; it is much less likely to represent the execution of some sort of strategic plan.”

Prof. Nader Entessar, a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of South Alabama believes that if there is any relationship between the tensions in the Persian Gulf and containment of China, it is not direct.

News Code 146662

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