The benefits of China and Russia from the United States’ disengagement from the Middle East


Russia and China, as two countries that compete with the United States and the European Union on the international scene, are trying to find a foothold in the Middle East, and the new Chinese and Russian strategy is represented in (restricting and curtailing American influence in the Middle East due to the direct American penetration in the areas of direct influence of China and Russia in  Eastern Europe and the Indo-Pacific region), which necessitated the development of an anti-Chinese and anti-Russian strategy to be in the heart of the American and Israeli spheres of influence in the Middle East. We find here that taking advantage of that new Sino-Russian ascent in the Middle East may be a “wall of offence” to create geopolitical stability in the Middle East.  Which put Russia and China at the center of the Middle Eastern crisis areas and circles of conflict in the face of the United States of America, especially with regard to (Russia and China using the right of veto or veto in the UN Security Council to confront the United States of America in the Syrian file and the Iranian nuclear program).

   It included considerations (mainly China’s energy security and then Russia through the consolidation of Chinese and Russian relations in the Middle East, and the strategic pillars for them in the Middle East arena to push towards a multipolar world). This in itself is in the interest of the countries of the region, given (the policy of strategic marginalization in favor of American hegemony over international decisions and the negative impact of the Arab world and the Middle East on those American decisions). Therefore, Russia and China have emerged as two ambitious countries that are now succeeding in gaining influence at the regional and international levels.  Which led to (increasing tension and international political polarization between Washington and its allies in the face of Sino-Russian alliances). Here we can reach a new international theory, which refers to (the end of the world after the Cold War and its replacement by a world after Western hegemony in which Russia and China play an increasingly important role in the world, and of course the Middle East).

    We find here that one of the most important aspects of the Russian-Chinese benefit in the Middle East is represented in the Russian and later Chinese military intervention in Syria to save Bashar al-Assad in 2015, and the most dangerous, in my view, is (Syria’s hosting of Moscow’s only naval base in the Mediterranean). Also, the Russian side’s attempt to be present in Libya, through Moscow’s presence as an active party in the ongoing Libyan civil war, as well as (Russian support for Khalifa Haftar’s forces with air raids, weapons, private military contractors and Russian special forces, and Russia’s deployment of private military contractors in Sudan to support the Transitional Military Council  who took power after the overthrow of Omar al-Bashir, and Russia’s conclusion of an agreement with the Transitional Military Council in Libya to build a Russian naval base off the coast of Sudan in the Red Sea).

   Also, rhe increase in Russian-Chinese arms sales in the Middle East is one of the most prominent results of the Chinese-Russian presence in the region, at a time when the Middle East represents an important strategic area for China for its (ambitious Belt and Road initiative), as well as (China’s presence as the largest consumer  The region’s oil, its largest trading partner, and largest investor, as well as the Chinese endeavor to integrate its ambitious “Belt and Road” initiative with the economic reform and national development programs pursued by a number of countries in the region, and significantly increase Chinese arms sales to the region as well.

   Also, the Chinese and Russian strategy to control the very important trade and oil routes in the region, such as: the Suez Canal, the Strait of Hormuz or the eastern Mediterranean, is able to protect China’s economic interests and investments through the “Belt and Road Initiative”, and here the American fear that the control of  China is on the very important trade routes in the Middle East, which will make it dominate the most important trade and oil routes in the greater Eurasia region.

   Finally, one of the other fears is that regional powers of opponents, such as: Iran, or partners of the United States of America, such as: Israel and Saudi Arabia, will resort to rapprochement with Moscow and Beijing to be the major power sponsoring them if the United States withdraws from the region, which pushes the balance of the global power tends more towards the forces of the East, which is strategically represented by China and Russia.

Dr.Nadia Helmy
Dr.Nadia Helmy
Associate Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Politics and Economics / Beni Suef University- Egypt. An Expert in Chinese Politics, Sino-Israeli relationships, and Asian affairs- Visiting Senior Researcher at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES)/ Lund University, Sweden- Director of the South and East Asia Studies Unit