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A letter to the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

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The path to development and development of today and tomorrow is a model of putting the ideology of meritocracy on the basis of the use of professional youth, committed and teaching them better for tomorrow. The best way to rule is to interact between two generations, experienced and experienced managers with ages, and young, energetic and energetic managers. The sum of these two options will undoubtedly bring the crisis to a rapid pace for our beloved homeland, provided that these professionals do not turn into pesky wolves and deceiving foxes over time, and the rulers in the appointment and election offer God It is known to look at the people and the country, not on camaraderie and yesterday’s contests!

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei

I remember that during the third prayer of Ramadan on September 20, 2009, by explaining the political journey of the martyrs of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH), you considered the political behavior of Imam Khomeini in accordance with the conduct of the Emir of Amman, and emphasized: one of the features of the politics of Imam Ali al-Islam was to avoid deceit, while in secular systems and attitudes based on the separation of religion and politics, there is no problem using any method, including wickedness and deceit.

You added: In the political school of the Imam Ali, there is no resort to oppression and lies to succeed, and Ali Salam seriously urged people not to speak with him flatteringly. Tolerance with the opposition and even the enemies as much as possible was another characteristic of the political conduct of the Imam Ali that you paid for it.

You pointed out in this regard: the Prophet, in so far as possible, was treated with tolerance and good behavior with the opponents and opponents, but if they did not end up with them, they stood firmly against them.

You have included the expression of reasoning and reasoning against enemies and opponents as another characteristic of the political conduct of Amir al-Momenin, Ali (peace be upon him), adding: His behavior was not the same with all individuals and opposing movements, and among those who, despite the purpose of the right, From ignorance and guiltiness, they went astray and mistakenly, differed from those who were in the wrong way from the beginning, while the Prophet Mohammad stood firmly against diversion and appealing to religious appearances.

You considered politics of ethics and spirituality to be the cause of the people and the society, and added: otherwise, politics will be a means of gaining power, wealth, and the advancement of worldly affairs, and will become a perversion for society and even politicians.

At the beginning of the second sermon of prayer in the words of the main audience of political movements and personalities, “the former and present officials of the country”, they examined the splits that have been created in the last 30 years in the genuine process of people and revolution.

You saw the reason for some of these splits as “the fundamentals and beliefs”, and added that some of the splits and differences were actually in the interests of others, but some were disagreements over how the principles were implemented, which should be treated differently with each other. .

By pointing out the encounters of Imam Khomeini with the splits and differences, you pointed out that the Imam used to treat them differently in the light of the political conduct of the Amir al-Mu’minin, “in proportion to the nature and essence of the political and the branching movements.” With the reference to the revolutionary and religious backgrounds of the branching process, you pointed out: the nature of some of these differences was a different view of the principles of the implementation of the principles, but some with fundamental differences or conflicts over the interests brought about the conflict with Imam and the Revolution And tried to penetrate the wrong principles as deadly in the soul and body of the system, when Imam, when he felt this danger, withdrew tolerance and resolved with them.

You, in contrast to the differences in the foundations, have a stake in the interests of society and added that the existence of individuals and streams of critics and possessing different perspectives is in the best interest of the country, provided that this difference of sentiment in the framework of the principles of “Islam, the constitution And the Imam’s will and wisdom, “not the issues that make the name of it, but in fact, are alien to the principles and principles of the revolution.

You pointed out that, unlike some propaganda, if one or the other has dissenting opinions and dissent, the system does not work with him, but if a stream of conflicts and knocking on the sword is carried out, as it is tolerated anywhere in the world In Iran, the system will be resolved in self-defense.

You declared the maximum attraction and the minimum elimination of the policy of the system towards the various currents of the country, adding that the system does not cope with the current as far as it does not have to; therefore, if no one moves to pursue violence, it does not try to undermine the security and comfort of the community, with The foundations of the system do not conflict and do not seek to lie and rumor, they are free to act and express their beliefs, and nobody will work with him.

You called for negligence against small landslides and deviations, which led to great deviations and ultimate fall, and pointed out the Qur’an verses: slippers gradually degrade people from inside, and this corruption, deviation in practice, and sometimes deviation in consequently, everyone should be careful about each other, including our family members, while respecting piety.

In this context, you advised the people to preach and advise the authorities, and added: people advise the authorities on various means and methods so that they will not slip, because the slippage of the authorities is more dangerous for the regime, the country and the people.

You called the Islamic system, like a person, as being at risk of slipping and corruption, and added: If you are not careful, the name and appearance of the Islamic Republic may persist, but the attitude and behavior, and the system’s agenda, will be non-Islamic. You move the society and the country towards justice, religious behavior and ethics, intellectual and scientific development in the free space, and a strong stand against “enemies and the front of international oppression”, including signs of the health and the system of corruption and You know the disease.

You added: people are awake and they know that if the path to society and the system is different, and issues such as the massive gap of the class, the use of freedom for corruption and prostitution, and the feeling of weakness and retreat from global bullying, is created, this sign of the disease of the system Is Islamic.

My Leader, 9 years of your talk in Friday prayers in September 2009, and the youth of this border are looking to change their situation according to your demands. I talk to a father who has always been a youth advocate and asked young people to stay and build Iran.

Dear Leader, Find out that by observing recent appointments and sentences for senior executives, it seems that the use of tools by young people and the use of slogans from their ability to attract accompaniment and synchronization on special occasions has become the current trend in the country. , A process that represents a disaster management in the Islamic Republic. By observing such an average age of the country’s directors and officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the hypothesis is that, after about 40 years of the Islamic Revolution, this system has failed or did not want to educate managers who deserve to have large managerial positions. And so they should continue to use the early young revolutionary leaders who were trained during the pre-revolutionary period. Is such a hypothesis close to reality?

It has been repeatedly experienced when the term “election” or “director” is subject to the election or appointment or the time of speech and presentation. The term “youth” and “youth capacity” is heard from the mouths of people repeatedly and is supposed to It is used so much from the capacity of young people in the country and large administrations that they may raise some concerns about the experience of experienced managers with a background and worry about neglecting the experience of experienced managers, but when the time runs out and everyone waits for young people to enter the management arena And society is hoping for a new atmosphere that will be full of vitality Occasionally, they are the same age-old administrators, who have no new initiative to advance their affairs in their programs, and they are once again called on to promise that they will be used on the mouths of critics and critics, saying they will use middle-class youth Will be, and some will not turn into reality in reality.

Everywhere in the world, especially advanced economies and advanced countries, young people work and give advice to old people, but in Iran it is a reverse! Old men want to work until the 90th minute, and even despite their retirement and salary, they still have jobs and jobs in the third and fourth and even more!

Dear my leader, my question is: Should not these Iranian oppressed youths be crying?

Training future strategists and jihad! Young advisers! Young Parliament! One of the cultural jokes of Iranian management is the use of such titles and phrases that are everything for the young, except water and bread! I emphasize everything is but bread and water! What does this look to the young people who are today in Iran? Yes! Young people are working and they are ashamed of their families, that is: Let’s sit back and do nothing about management, economic and social activity.

At the time of the imposed war, which you yourself were at the front, how did you trust the youth there, but today is not trusted? Because there was no payment and no money, the youth of the god was unwanted worthless? The country does not go the right way. One of the main reasons is the lack of youthfulness in the real sense of the body of management and implementation.

The actual body does not mean meeting and association in the name of “sympathy”, “idea”, “participation”, and so on, but it means the creation of expert and thought-provoking youth at all levels. The country’s management system is faced with a false crisis, the false crisis means that in spite of our abilities and potential, we have problems and some insist on continuing these problems. One of the great potentials of Iran, which has become a weak point and is in its place a source of unfortunate controversy, is our young force and our management and economic elites, some of which are neither in the media nor in the office or position.

My dear leader, my question is that apart from the good ages and genes of the country, how many young people do we have to have responsibility in the country? Unless in this imposed war, young people stood in front of the whole world in combatants and commander-in-chief? So why not trust these young people now? Should young people in Islamic and Iranian management have a special place and of course a particular gene so that they can present themselves? For this, officials and decision-makers should have a proper priority, and if they are not able to prioritize it, they will give the status to specialized people. What we have to do with the young, we need a detailed discussion, but do not rely more and more on the wrong approach.

Sir, I know that you know that young people should be educated for the present and future of the community, who work as leaders and thinkers in the community and politics, rather than those born from one generation to the next, and nothing more than a shame for the system The Islamic Republic of Iran does not have and will not. It should be noted that educated young people pursue the goals and ideals of the Iranian democratic system and beliefs with regard to all the nuances and considerations of Iranian-Islamic society culture on the one hand and the change of generations, the global perspective of threats and international threats, internal harm and so on, on the other hand, To advance. In the contemporary world more than any other time, the survival and survival of organizations and departments depends on the system of meritocracy and the transfer of work to the apprentice. The lack of qualified, expert and elite individuals is an opportunity and the use of seigneur is inadequate to burn the country. It should be noted that the failure to use the elite will lead to the disappearance of political and managerial systems. Competency-based management is a coherent and coherent approach to managing long-term human capital, based on a common set of competencies that are relevant to the macro strategies of the country. It was precisely in this regard that the establishment of a system of merit as one of the major and strategic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran vision document in the country has been emphasized. In a meritorious system, there should be no appointments based on the financial strength of a person or a social position (the good gene) that has come across the country. In affluent societies, the attitudes of kinship, tribalism, party, and secularism are abandoned. It should be noted that meritocracy, not a government, but an ideology.

My leader, the current state of the country after 1396, the meritocracy has been lost. But what is the purpose of the system of meritocracy? Is not there a better goal than ensuring the future of the country? The best way to ensure the future of the country is to use the right youth in various responsibilities. There is no doubt about the merits of many officials and appointments in government. But the presence of these people in this age group may be favorable for the country, but what will happen next?

The path to development and development of today and tomorrow is a model of putting the ideology of meritocracy on the basis of the use of professional youth, committed and teaching them better for tomorrow. The best way to rule is to interact between two generations, experienced and experienced managers with ages, and young, energetic and energetic managers. The sum of these two options will undoubtedly bring the crisis to a rapid pace for our beloved homeland, provided that these professionals do not turn into pesky wolves and deceiving foxes over time, and the rulers in the appointment and election offer God It is known to look at the people and the country, not on camaraderie and yesterday’s contests!

Thank you very much

SAJAD ABEDI

October 8, 2018

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A New Era in US-Jordan Relations

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President Joe Biden meets with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Monday, July 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

King Abdullah of Jordan is the first Arab leader who met American President Joe Biden at the White House. The visit has reaffirmed the strong and long-standing Jordan-US strategic partnership and reinvigorated the bilateral engagement for working together on security issues, and economic development on the basis of shared values and priorities. The King’s visit to Washington reaffirmed Jordan’s value as a reliable ally who plays a critical role for stability in a highly volatile region.

Jordan’s value is multi-dimensional and ranges from bilateral military cooperation, intelligence sharing and joint global counterterrorism operations including as a member of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS and the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve to deployment of almost three thousand (3,000) American troops to Jordan as part of the ongoing campaign to combat regional terrorism. The US has expanded military footprint to Jordan after Washington’s decision to withdraw forces from Syria and reduce military presence in the Turkish airbase of Incirlik. In addition, the kingdom’s geopolitical position in the heart of the Middle East provides a viable alternative for logistical support to the American military taking into consideration the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and close three bases in Qatar. Notably, the remaining supplies from the three Qatari bases along with the Support Mission have been transferred to Jordan and have become part of the Area Support Group-Jordan that operates as the Base Operations Support Integrator to back contingency operations and military-to-military engagements within the US Army Central Command’s area of responsibility.

Jordan’s value also stems from its critical role in addressing the overwhelming humanitarian needs created by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq as well as in hosting almost two million registered Palestinian refugees.

Support of Two-state Solution

The fact that Jordan remains at peace with Israel and is a key interlocutor with the Palestinians adds to the kingdom’s reliability to mediate and advance initiatives that support the two-state solution. This presupposes the resetting of Jordan-Israel relations. Washington is well-placed to offer its good offices and help restore trust between the two neighboring countries. The twenty-seventh year Jordan-Israel peace treaty shows not only the possibilities for coordination and co-existence but also the ceilings to peace with Israel in the absence of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A “cold peace” and quiet, limited cooperation are currently the maximum possibilities vis-a-vis a “warm peace” that will unlock Jordan-Israel cooperation and potential.

It is nevertheless noteworthy that the last five years have been discerned by the previous American administration’s lack of appreciation of the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Trump peace proposal, known as “the Vision”, not only undermined the long-established aim of a two-state solution but also reinforced discussions over alternatives including a one state outcome to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; different measures of annexation, such as Israeli annexation of Area C in the West Bank; “exotic options” such as a federation in which Israel and Palestine share certain aspects of sovereignty; potential unilateral Israeli initiatives with most prevailing a Jordanian model, in which Jordan takes control of the West Bank and Palestinians are given Jordanian citizenship; and, reinforcement of the notion that “Jordan is “Palestine””.

Practically, Jordan can serve as honest broker in any future Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but as the late King Hussein stated in an interview with The New York Times in 1991 “Jordan should not be, cannot be, will not be a substitute for the Palestinians themselves as the major aggrieved party on the Arab side in a process that leads to peace”. The cited statement is fully embraced by Jordan’s current leadership.

Acknowledgment of Jordan’s Custodianship

The public acknowledgement by the American President of the kingdom’s special role as custodian of the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem is translated into a vote of confidence and a commendation for Jordan’s efficient safeguarding of religious sites for decades.  As known, Amman pays the salaries of more than one thousand (1,000) employees of the Jerusalem Waqf Department and its custodianship role is carried out on behalf of all Islamic nations. The kingdom holds the exclusive authority of the Jordanian-appointed council, the Waqf, over the Temple Mount/ Haram Al Sharif and has spent over 1 billion dollars since 1924 for the administration and renovation of Al Aqsa mosque.

Jordan has admittedly served at multiple occasions as credible intermediary for Israel and the Palestinians to suspend tensions in the old city of Jerusalem, particularly at the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif and pursues a successful administration of religious funded schools favoring moderate religious education and religious tourism. Jordanian moderation has guaranteed co-existence of the three monotheistic religions in Jerusalem at a time when on the contrary, counties like Turkey funnel millions of dollars in charity projects in Jerusalem promoting the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Overall, Jordan’s custodianship has proved to be successful in maintaining delicate arrangements for the benefit of all religions and parties involved.

American Loan Guarantees

The King’s discussions with the American President also centered on the economic challenges exacerbated by the effect of the pandemic and the enhancement of bilateral economic cooperation. Admittedly, Jordan showed strong leadership and governance with early actions that reduced the coronavirus pandemic pressure on the kingdom’s health system. The Jordanian government imposed a nationwide lockdown and severe social distancing measures at a much earlier stage of the pandemic than other Middle East countries.

Jordan withstood the pandemic’s impact with minimal loss of life but with a significant cost to its economy. As of June 2020, most restrictions on economic activity were lifted turning Jordan into one of the first Arab countries to reopen. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has contracted in 2020 by 3.5 percent after growing 2 percent in 2019 due to losses in state revenues because of fewer remittances and a weakened tourism market.

To cope with the direct negative effects of the pandemic on its state budget, the Kingdom received $396 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The amount of finance has specifically helped address the country’s balance of payments needs and allowed for higher spending on healthcare, and assistance to households and companies most affected by the pandemic. Despite that the IMF provided in March 2020 another multi-year $1.3 billion loan package to Jordan, the pandemic has caused a $1.5 billion shortfall in its balance of payments.

This complex economic reality along with Jordan’s moderation in the Arab world justify continued robust annual American economic assistance to the kingdom in the form of budgetary support (cash transfer), USAID programs in Jordan, and loan guarantees. US cash assistance should increase in the coming years taking into consideration that it is directed to refugee support and to segments of the economy that are mostly affected by the pandemic like foreign debt payments and fuel import costs. Overall, a pledge should be made for Jordan in American congress for the authorization of moreUS sovereign loan guarantees that will help the kingdom weather the pandemic’s adverse medium-to-long-term effects on its economy. US sovereign loan guarantees will allow Jordan to issue debt securities that are fully guaranteed by the American government in capital markets, effectively subsidizing the cost for the Jordanian government to access financing.

It is also noticeable that in a genuine effort to help the kingdom contain the pandemic and safeguard public health, the American administration proceeded with the delivery of over 500 thousand covid-19 vaccines to Jordan highlighting American commitment to international vaccination programs including that of the kingdom.

US-Jordan Defense Partnership

The strategic US-Jordan defense relationship was reflected in the discussions that were conducted between the Jordanian King and the American President. American support for the modernization of Jordan’s F-16 fighter jets has been at the forefront of the agenda with the aim of achieving greater interoperability and effectiveness for the Jordanian Armed Forces.  The American President recognized Jordan’s contribution to the successful international campaign to defeat ISIS and honored as an example of heroism the memory of captain Muath al-Kasasbeh who was executed in 2015 by the terrorist organization’s militants.  

Jordan has suffered avowedly from terrorism throughout the years and works collectively at regional and international levels to eliminate all its forms. The kingdom lost two prime ministers, Haza’a Al-Majali and Wasfi Al-Tal, as victims of terrorism and experienced a series of terrorist attacks like the simultaneous suicide bombings against three hotels in Amman in November 2005 that led to the loss of life of American, Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian nationals.

In effect, Jordan is the third-largest recipient of annual American foreign aid globally, after Afghanistan and Israel. A Memorandum of Understanding on American foreign assistance to Jordan commits the United States to providing $1.275 billion per year over a five-year period for a total of $6.375 billion (FY2018-FY2022). Renegotiations on the next such agreement for FY2023-FY2027 is estimated that will aim at increasing the American commitment to Jordan, a key ally in the fight against international terrorism whose military should be in position to procure and maintain conventional weapons systems.

On the whole, Jordan is a steadfast security partner of the United States in the Middle East whose moderation and pragmatism helped the kingdom weather regional and world challenges. As 2021 and past years have showed, Jordan’s position as a bridge between the Levant and the Persian Gulf provides it a unique geopolitical standing, in a way that nowadays Amman is granted with a significant security, diplomatic and humanitarian role that signals a new era in US-Jordan relations.

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Chinese FM Wraps Up his Visit to Egypt

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Wang Yi, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, visited Egypt on July 18, 2021, in El Alamein City, northwest Egypt. The Chinese Foreign Minister is the first foreign official to visit this strategic city.

Wang Yi met with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, during his visit to Egypt, and they discussed bilateral relations between the two countries. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and China. Egypt is the first Arab country to establish diplomatic relations with China and the first African country to do so. In the Arab world, the Islamic world, Africa, and developing countries, Egypt has long been one of China’s most important strategic partners. At the international level, the two countries mutually support one another. The meeting between Egypt’s Foreign Minister and China’s Foreign Minister focused on three main issues: the Covid-19 vaccine, the One Belt One Road Initiative, and international and regional issues such as Palestine and Syria

Covid-19 Vaccine

Both Egypt and China have a long history of cooperation and friendship. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19, the two countries’ relations were based on economic and trade cooperation, with China being Egypt’s first trading partner for the eighth year in a row since 2013, and the volume of trade exchange between the two countries exceeding $14.5 billion in 2020. However, as the outbreak Covid-19, cooperation between the two countries expanded to include medical cooperation. Egypt and China worked together to combat the virus. Egypt sent medical supplies to China, and China sent medical supplies and Chinese vaccine to Egypt. In addition, in December 2020, the two sides signed a cooperation agreement on COVID-19 Vaccine Production and China dispatched technical teams to Egypt to assist in the vaccine’s local manufacture. As a result, Egypt is considered Africa’s first vaccine manufacturer.

One Belt One Road Initiative  

Egypt is an important strategic partner in building the Belt and Road Initiative. According to CGTN, the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al- Sisi, stated that:” Egypt supports the Belt and Road Initiative(BRI).” He added that Egypt is ready to strengthen cooperation with China in the fields of economy, trade, industry, science and technology, and expand human exchanges within the framework of the “Belt and Road Initiative.” One Belt and One Road Initiative is one of the most important initiatives of the twenty-first century, announced by President Xi Jinping during official visits to Indonesia and Kazakhstan in 2013. Egypt was one of the first countries to participate in this initiative. In 2014, Egyptian President al-Sisi expressed in an interview that China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative was an “opportunity” for cooperation between China and Egypt. Egypt was willing to participate in it actively.

International and Regional Issues

Regarding the international and regional issues, the two sides exchanged views and coordinated positions on some issues as Palestine, Syria issues. It’s worth mentioning that Wang Yi paid a visit to Syria the day before his trip to Egypt, marking him the first Chinese official to visit Syria since the country’s civil war began. China supports the Syrian sovereignty and rejects foreign interference in Syria, and also rejects the regime change. The Egyptian Minister Sameh Shoukry also discussed with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi the GERD issue. According to Sky News, Shoukry explained Egypt and Sudan’s positions as two downstream countries, the importance of preserving the interests of all parties and not jeopardizing the downstream countries’ water security, and the importance of engaging in intensified negotiations under the auspices of the African Union presidency. The two sides signed an agreement on the Egyptian-Sino Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee at the end of their meeting.

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Greater Middle East may force China to project military power sooner rather than later

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China may have no short-term interest in contributing to guaranteeing security in parts of a swath of land stretching from Central Asia to the East coast of Africa, but that does not prevent the People’s Republic from preparing for a time when it may wish to build on long-standing political and military relationships in various parts of the world to project power and maintain an economic advantage.

Determined to exploit the principle of allegedly win-win relationships that are underwritten by economics, trade, and investment as the solution to problems, China has so far delayed if not avoided bilateral or unilateral political and military engagement in conflicts beyond its borders.

The question is how long it can continue to do so.

China took a first baby step towards greater power projection with the creation in 2017 of its first overseas military base in the East African state of Djibouti, a rent-a-base nation that hosts multiple military facilities for among others the United States, France, and Japan and potentially Saudi Arabia. The base signals the importance China attributes to regions like the Gulf and the Horn of Africa.

A recent article in a Chinese military publication sheds further light on Chinese preparations for a day when it may have to project military might in different parts of the world. The article laid out Chinese thinking about the virtues of offering Middle Eastern, Asian, and African militaries and political elites training and educational opportunities.

“Students who can study in China are mostly local military and political elites or descendants of notable families. After they have studied and returned to their country, they have a high probability of becoming the top military and political leaders of the local country. This is very beneficial for China to expand its overseas influence and corresponding armaments exports,” the publication, Military Express, said.

The publication asserted that Chinese military academies were more attractive than their Western counterparts that impose “political conditions,” a reference to students having to hail from countries aligned with the West.

“Chinese military academy does a better job in this regard. There are no political conditions attached here. Foreign military students here learn Chinese strategies and tactics and learn to operate Chinese weaponry by themselves,” the publication said.

The publication failed to mention that China unlike Western producers also refrains from attaching political conditions to its arms sales like adherence to human rights.

Recent months have not been necessarily kind to Chinese aspirations of remaining aloof to conflict beyond its borders, suggesting that reality on the ground could complicate China’s strategic calculations.

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan threatens to put an ultra-conservative religious regime in power on the border with Xinjiang, the north-western province where China is attempting to brutally Sinicize Turkic ethnic and religious identity.

Recent Taliban military advances have already bolstered ultra-conservative religious sentiment in neighbouring Pakistan that celebrates the group as heroes whose success enhances the chances for austere religious rule in the world’s second-most populous Muslim-majority state.

Our jihadis will be emboldened. They will say that ‘if America can be beaten, what is the Pakistan army to stand in our way?’” said a senior Pakistani official.

Nine Chinese nationals were killed last week in an explosion on a bus transporting Chinese workers to the construction site of a dam in the northern mountains of Pakistan, a region more prone to attacks by religious militants than Baloch nationalists, who operate from the province of Balochistan and are responsible for the bulk of attacks on Chinese targets in the South Asian nation.

It was the highest loss of life of Chinese citizens in recent years in Pakistan, the largest recipient of Chinese Belt and Road-related infrastructure and energy investments. China’s sees Pakistan as a key to the economic development of Xinjiang and part of its effort to Sinicize the region.

Indicating Chinese concern, China last month advised its citizens to leave Afghanistan and last week evacuated 210 Chinese nationals on a chartered flight. China last week delayed the signing of a framework agreement on industrial cooperation that would have accelerated implementation of projects that are part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Complicating Chinese calculations is the fact that both Russia and Turkey are maneuvering for different reasons to strengthen Turkic identity in the Caucasus that potentially would be more sympathetic to the plight of the Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims.

Turkey moreover may see Afghanistan as another stepping stone towards recreating a Turkic world. Turkey has reportedly asked Azerbaijan, whom Ankara supported in last year’s Caucasus war against Armenia, to contribute forces to a Turkish contingent that would remain in Afghanistan after the US and NATO withdrawal to secure Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Turkish influence among Afghanistan’s Turkic minorities has been bolstered by the operation of Turkish schools, an increased number of Turkish scholarships, training of Afghan military and police personnel, the popularity of Turkish movies and television series, and efforts to mediate an end to conflict in the country.

The Taliban have rejected the continuation of a Turkish military presence that for the past six years was part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. The Taliban insisted that Turkish soldiers were “occupiers in Afghanistan” who should leave with NATO and US forces even if they were also representatives of a “great Islamic nation.”

In anticipation of a threatening development in Afghanistan, China quietly established a small military post in 2019 in the highlands of Tajikistan, a stone’s throw from where Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor meets Xinjiang.

More recently, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Ji advised his interlocutors during a visit last week to Central Asia that going forward Chinese private military companies would play a greater role in securing Belt and Road-related strategic infrastructure projects.

Some analysts suggested that the Chinese companies would also be employed to train Central Asian militaries – a domain that was until now largely a Russian preserve.

In a similar vein, France’s withdrawal of its forces from West Africa steps up pressure on China to defend its overseas nationals and interests. Three Chinese construction workers were among five foreigners kidnapped by gunmen this weekend in southern Mali. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

All of this leaves aside the question of how long China will feel that it can rely on the US defence umbrella in the Gulf to secure the flow of energy and much of its trade against the backdrop of a reconfigured US regional commitment and increasingly strained relations between Washington and Beijing.

It also does not consider China’s ability to manage expectations of the People’s Republic’s willingness to engage, in some cases not only politically or militarily, but also economically.

That was evident during Mr. Wang’s most recent visit to the region, and particularly Syria, which for much of its civil war was home to Uighur jihadists who distinguished themselves in battle.

It was Mr. Wang’s second visit to the Middle East and North Africa in four months. Furthermore, Mr. Wang last week discussed Afghanistan and Gulf security with his Saudi counterpart on the sideline of  a regional cooperation meeting in Uzbekistan.

Syrian officials have for domestic and foreign policy reasons long touted China as the imaginary white knight that would come to the rescue in the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

China is far less interested in Syria than Syria is in China… Syria has never been a priority in China’s economy-driven approach to the Middle East,” noted scholars Andrea Ghiselli and Mohammed Al-Sudairi.

The scholars cautioned however that “the significant potential impact of narratives created by local actors in the context of international politics,” a reference to Syria’s projection of China as its saviour, cannot be ignored.

Implicit in the scholars’ conclusion is the notion that Chinese policy may in future increasingly be shaped as much by decision-making in Beijing as developments on the ground in a world in which powers compete to secure their interest and place in a new world order.

Ultimately, the fundamental question underlying all these push factors is, according to Financial Times columnist Gideon Rahman, whether China has not only the capability and aspiration to become a superpower but also the will.

“If China is unwilling or unable to achieve a global military presence that rivals that of the US, it may have to find a new way of being a superpower – or give up on the ambition,” Mr. Rahman argues.

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