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China’s Diplomatic Predicament in Middle East

Xinhua’s International Herald Leader published an article titled “How Can China Get Out of Its Diplomatic Predicament in the Middle East?” The article quotes from an Arab source that China’s Middle East policy is widely viewed by many Arab countries as “sitting on the fence.” It wants to have access to the oil but does not want to give up cooperating on technology with Israel, let alone offending the United States. The article predicts that, as China expands in the Middle East, sending Chinese troops to the Middle East to protect its workers may become inevitable, given times of chaos and the economic loss in the Libya crisis. 

“This is exactly what makes it difficult for China to play an independent role in the Middle East. The West calls China’s economic expansion without security protection ‘putting all of its eggs in the basket of the United States,’ meaning China has put its interest in the Middle East in the hands of the United States.” The article noted that China presently has warships in the Gulf of Aden all year round to ensure its oil supplies. The "Xuzhou" Destroyer entered the Mediterranean during the chaos in Libya, and its air force cargo planes fly over the Middle East. The article concluded that China should establish a long-term strategic vision for the Middle East.

Source: International Herald Leader, April 26, 2011