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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Answer to Question
Aims of the Chinese Summits with the Arab Countries


Al-Jazeera published on its website on 12/9/2022: “The 43rd summit of leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the Gulf-Chinese Summit, and the Arab-Chinese Summit were held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Friday, in the presence of a number of Arab leaders and the Chinese President Xi Jinping.” What are the objectives of holding these Chinese summits with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and the Arab countries in Riyadh? Is it China’s way of calling for multipolarity in order to expand its political influence and prove itself as a major international pole in exchange of the violent way in which Russia demands influence and multipolarity? Does this find a response in the Arab region and with the rulers? What is America’s reaction?


In order to clarify the answer to these questions, we should clarify the following:

1- Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia and met with its King and Crown Prince Bin Salman on 8/12/2022 where he was warmly welcomed. The two sides signed a comprehensive economic partnership agreement, including agreements worth $30 billion in the fields of energy and infrastructure, in an attempt to reconcile between China’s projects within the framework of the Belt and Road strategy, and Bin Salman’s projects in the so-called Vision 2030, whose broad title is “entertainment”. As well as talks about a large center for Chinese industries in Saudi Arabia for marketing in the region. Then, on the second day, a Chinese summit with the Gulf States was held in Riyadh, followed by a summit with Arab countries on the same day, attended by many Arab “leaders” in a scene for which the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “...largest-scale diplomatic activity between China and the Arab world” since the PRC was founded. (BBC, 8/12/2022). The two summits stressed on the strengthening of partnership and economic cooperation between the Arab countries and China, and the final statement emphasized general matters such as respect for the existing international order, respect for the countries’ sovereignty, non-use of force, and the principle of good neighborliness, as well as the centrality of the Palestinian cause and efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. In the closing statement of the Chinese-Gulf Summit, China criticized Iran and demanded it to respect its neighbors [and yesterday, the Gulf States and China issued a joint statement at the end of the Chinese-Gulf summit held in Riyadh, “which included support for the initiative and endeavors of UAE to reach a negotiated and peaceful solution to the issue of the three islands,” which Iran considers part of its territory, in addition to calling on Iran to “seriously engage in negotiations to return to the Iranian nuclear agreement” (Al-Mayadeen, 10/12/2022)] and the Chinese ambassador in Tehran was summoned to protest against the Chinese position.

2- The new US strategy classifies China as the greatest threat to US hegemony over the world, and that it has the capabilities to build effective influence around the world for China is a country with an economy that is the second in the world after America, and it is also the second country in military spending. Therefore, America monitors China’s actions and builds plans to stop its rise, and even prepares for war with it, as US President Biden’s statements regarding the recent Taiwan crisis showed. America has commented on the Chinese president’s visit by saying: [The White House said, on Wednesday, that it was “not surprised” by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia because Beijing “is working to grow its influence in the Middle East.” “We’re mindful of the influence that China is trying to grow around the world,” said John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the US National Security Council who also said, “Probably not a surprise that the President Xi is traveling around and certainly not a surprise that he that he chose to go to the Middle East.” (CNN Arabic, 8/12/2022)].

3- On the other hand, China is trying to show that it does not oppose the American international order, as it calls for what America calls for, and this was evident in this visit of the Chinese president when the closing statement of the summit emphasized the maintenance of the international order based on the international law and the prevention of nuclear proliferation and combating terrorism. Actually, the closing statement of the Chinese-Arab summit in Riyadh included implicit criticism to Russia when it emphasized respect for the sovereignty of countries, refraining from using force or threatening to use it, and respecting the principle of good neighborliness, in reference to the Russian war on Ukraine. China’s criticism to Iran in the final statement and its call for good neighborliness and non-interference in the affairs of the Gulf countries is considered, from another angle, identification with Western countries and America, which has long directed such criticisms at Iran. And with Iran summoning the Chinese ambassador to protest, it appears that the speech of the formation of a “new international camp” represented by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea proves once again that it is a fantasy that has no reality.

4- As for the Arab relations with China, these summits in Saudi Arabia do not include any change in them from the international point of view. It is true that Saudi Arabia has welcomed the Chinese president warmly which wasn’t the case during the US President’s visit in July 2022, but this indicates a relationship with Saudi Arabia’s participation of the Republicans in their disputes with the Democrats and President Biden, in addition to the lack of respect that President Biden has shown to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Bin Salman. Moreover, the Arab countries have signed strategic partnership agreements with India and Germany without this implying any loyalty or change in political affiliation.

5- And if China suffers major political problems in its near vicinity, with Taiwan, which it considers a part of it and cannot annex it till now, with nearby Vietnam, and the islands’ problems with several countries, as for its close relations of loyalty are almost limited to North Korea, China certainly does not aspire or plan to create political loyalty for itself in the Arab region, especially as it knows the strong correlation of the rulers to America and Britain. For all of this, this visit of the Chinese president and the convening of these summits and the economic agreements, whatever their value is, have nothing to do with political subordination, and it is just within the scope of open economic relations between countries, and should only be viewed from its economic angle, and the political connotations it may include that have nothing to do with the region or the political affiliation of its rulers. For example, China’s criticism to Iran is considered identification with the western position and proof that China does not tweet outside the global swarm criticizing Iran, and is not followed by any Chinese political interference with the Gulf countries against Iran. Likewise, the inclusion of veiled criticisms of Russia in the final statement, such as respect for the sovereignty of countries, non-use of force and respect for good neighborliness, is an indication among the increasing indications that China is not allying with Russia in its war on Ukraine and that it is pursuing a peaceful diplomatic approach in its relations with the world.

6- China is converging with the Gulf region economically because it fears strongly that America and Europe will cut off the chains of Chinese industry, especially the export chains to Western markets. What is being discussed today regarding the strategic error in the heavy reliance on Russian energy resources in Europe is exactly what is coming from the great dependence, in the west, on Chinese manufacturing chains and strong indicators have appeared about that. German Foreign Minister Baerbock said: [Germany’s experience with Russia has shown that “we no longer allow ourselves to become existentially dependent on any country that does not share our values. Complete economic dependence on the basis of the principle of hope leaves us open to political blackmail.” (Al-Mayadeen, 2/11/2022)]. On his departure from Beijing, German Chancellor Schulz wrote an article in the newspaper Frankfurter Zeitung, in which he wrote “Berlin must change the way it deals with China as the country lurches back toward a more openly “Marxist-Leninist” political trajectory.” He continued, saying that German companies need to take steps to reduce “risky dependencies” in industrial supply chains... Chinese Supply Chain, Middle East, 4/11/2022). In this context, and in order to try to prevent this, China is taking preventive measures to prevent its supply chains, to the West, from being exposed to what Russia’s chains have been exposed to, especially in the matter of energy, and what appears so far from China’s preventive actions are the following:

a. Separating itself from Russia: China had hoped that the Russian President Putin would succeed in imposing a fait accompli in Ukraine and what would follow from a greater global role for Russia, China’s position was ambiguous at the beginning of the Russian war on Ukraine. The huge American and European support for Ukraine gave it strength to withstand, which made China to move away from Russia and increased its veiled criticism to it, and this was noticed after the last congress of the Chinese Communist Party (October 2022) and President Xi Jinping’s complete control of the reins of affairs and the removal of his opponents from the party’s political office. China, distanced itself further from the Russian recklessness because China cannot afford that America and the European countries cut off the Chinese industrial chains as they cut the Russian energy chains, and China has taken this into account.

b. Identification with Western positions: China has begun to declare its commitment to the American international system and criticizes what the West criticizes, such as Iran’s interference in the affairs of the Gulf States. Thus, China wants to tell the west that it is one of the “civilized” world countries that rejects the barbaric policies of some countries, and we may witness, in the coming days, an increase in these Chinese positions, including avoiding any military escalation with Taiwan and asking America to de-escalate it, as well as helping in resolving the nuclear crisis of North Korea. And all this, with the aim of stopping the American as well as the European policy of cutting off industrial supply chains from China.

c. Increase interest in economic alternatives: China views the Arab countries’ markets as an alternative, although it is still not important to the Western markets, meaning that in case of cutting (or easing) the Chinese supply chains with America and Europe, the Arab markets could constitute a kind of alternative, although it is still marginal compared to the American and western markets. And if this is combined with the African and Latin American markets, the Chinese economy will have created an outlet in the event of suffocation due to the new trends in America and Europe to reduce its dependence on China.

7- As for the economic aspect of the Arab countries, these summits, whether Gulf or Arab, can be viewed as follows:

a. After decades of failure of comprehensive rule in the Arab countries, these countries have become like dry forests waiting for someone to light a match. Some of these countries pay more than half of the taxes collected as interest for their usurious loans. Its currencies began to collapse dramatically, and prices rose sharply as a result of its failed economic policies and the depth of its dependence on the west, which threatens to ignite protests. Almost all Arab countries, with the exception of the Gulf countries, suffer from severe economic problems. This reality makes these rulers view China as a potential economic savior, from which more loans can be taken and some of the harsh conditions of the International Monetary Fund can be avoided. And China, through its large foreign projects, can make huge investments in these countries, and the benefits will be for the rulers and their aides because of the rampant government corruption in the corridors of rulers.

b. As for America, its economic problems made it depend more on its agents, such as the imaginary arms contracts that the Trump administration signed with Saudi Arabia, and even put pressure on other agents in the interest of its economic benefit, as was the pressure of America’s agents on Qatar, an agent of the British, until Qatar’s money invested in America became a lifeline for its rulers to remain in power. US President Trump has demanded that the rulers in the region pay for America’s protection provided for them. And because these rulers suffer from great problems, America either pushes them or does not mind their economic orientation towards China, and America may today plan to burden the Chinese economy with economic aid provided to America’s agents in the region as part of its policy to stop the rise of China, meaning that the Chinese-Arab economic cooperation and partnerships is in no way a threat to the loyalty of these rulers.

8- With all this, the Chinese goals from these summits are clear as they are economic goals in the first place, and China is not competing with America and Europe for political influence in the Arab region, as its capabilities and will are weaker than that. Rather, it cannot resolve political influence in its favor in its immediate vicinity in East Asia. China wants, through these summits and the economic partnership agreements that it signed, to remain the artery of the Arab region that feeds its economy, whether energy resources from the Gulf or the Arab countries’ markets for its industries, and it benefits of these and other occasions to say that it is part of the civilized world, and also says that it is not part of the camp of countries that the west calls them “rogue states” such as North Korea and Iran, and it does not want to be affected by international isolation, which today is wrapping around Russia’s neck and wants to strangle it. China also wants to have solid economic relations with the Arab region, Africa and Latin America, as a whole, as a substitute for western markets, that is if western pressure on China intensifies, and Western countries cut off industrial supply chains with it. China is trying to avoid or mitigate this through a policy of favoritism with the west and through a policy that is taking shape, which is distancing itself from Russia.

9. It must be noted that the “Arab leaders” did not think, during these summits, to raise China’s brutal actions against the Muslims in the Xinjiang region, East Turkistan, in their “friendly” conversations with the Chinese president, and they were not discussed as if they did not exist! If this indicates anything, then it indicates the severity of the failure of these Arab rulers and the severity of their weakness, and that Muslims matter does not concern them, and that the central issue of all these rulers is to preserve the throne in light of the raging state of hostility of their peoples against them, and in light of the comprehensive failure of all their policies and their inability to deal with any issue affecting people’s lives. Rather, the conversation focused on economic relations and international trade, as if China’s crimes against Uighur Muslims were in another world!

10. The Arab rulers today, and even the Muslim rulers, are in their worst condition since the destruction of the Khilafah (Caliphate), and it is a state that warns them of imminent annihilation. The extent of the ruin that their hands have made in coordination with America and Europe, and even with China, is so enormous that they struggle to deal with it while they are far from achieving any success that justifies them continuing to rule, and the degree of failure is what differentiates one ruler from another. This is above the wrath of Allah Almighty upon them, for they have abandoned their Islam, and fought the workers to resume the Islamic life on earth, and followed the command of every colonial Kafir tyrant as if they were blind.

{أَمْوَاتٌ غَيْرُ أَحْيَاءٍ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُون}

“They are dead, not alive—not even knowing when their followers will be resurrected.” [An-Nahl 16:21]

22 Jumada al-Awwal 1444 AH


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