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New era Diplomacy of Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Middle East

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The discussion in the Middle East has become about: What can China offer to all the countries of the region? This was following the end of the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 16, 2022 in the capital, Beijing, and Chinese President Xi Jinping smoothly maintaining his position as supreme leader of the state for an unlimited number of periods, after which President “Xi” announced what is known as “diplomacy in  the new era”.  This means opening new fronts and relations for China in every country and region around the world, especially the Middle East. And because China is fully focused on developing countries, the Middle East for China is an ideal platform to spread its development model of President Xi Jinping’s thought, and to implement President Xi’s vision of what is known as “building a community with a shared future for mankind”. This is what China has shown in recent years, that it is no longer a secondary power in the Middle East, but rather has become a real major player in the region, with its readiness to engage on all fronts to achieve its interests.  We note the extent to which all countries in the Middle East benefit from the Chinese presence in it, without exception, in balancing their relations with Washington and the West, especially by using China as a bargaining chip in their dealings with the United States and Europe. The clearest example of this is the Gulf rulers bargaining with the United States and Europe to conclude deals on arms sales to their countries from Beijing as a substitute for them. Here, China is trying to compete with the United States for influence in the Middle East and North Africa. This was evident in the successful Chinese mediation in one of the region’s most complex disputes between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

 China is trying to enhance its own development strategy so that it integrates with the development strategies of every country in the region.  China is also trying to provide an alternative to the security and diplomatic hegemony of the United States of America in the Middle East. One of the manifestations of China’s expanding presence in the region is its insistence on becoming more involved in the areas of security and politics in the region, especially through the two initiatives (global security and the new security architecture for the Middle East), which are the two initiatives launched by Chinese President “Xi Jinping”. On June 24, 2022, Chinese President “Xi Jinping” presided over what is known as the high-level dialogue on (global development) via video conference, which was attended by leaders from 17 countries, including 3 leaders from the countries of the Middle East region, and they are the presidents: (the Algerian president  Abdel Majeed Tebboune, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi), where they all consulted with President “Xi Jinping” on development and cooperation plans and reached important and broad consensuses. On September 8, 2022, the (third session of the Chinese-Arab Forum for Reform and Development) was held, in which the meeting and discussions focused on (advancing the implementation of the global development initiative of Chinese President “Xi Jinping”), where the participants presented valuable opinions and proposals on (ways to enhance  Development cooperation between China and the Arab countries and work to build the Chinese-Arab community for a common future).

 Here, we find that the “Global Security Initiative” of Chinese President “Xi Jinping” is closely linked to the “Global Development Initiative” that “Xi” also launched in September 2021.  Which is based on the firm conviction of the Chinese leadership, that “development is the main key to solving all problems in the world”. There are  17 Arab countries expressed their support for President Xi’s “Global Development Initiative”, and 12 Arab countries joined it, forming the so-called “Global Development Initiative Friends Group”. My initiative (development and security) is the practical program of Chinese President “Xi Jinping” towards reshaping global governance, along with his clear call for “building a community with a shared future for mankind” and the Belt and Road Initiative.  This represents the greatest real benefit for all countries in the region from China and its role in the region.

 China also used its veto power in the United Nations Security Council more than 10 times to thwart Western initiatives against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The Middle East and North Africa region is also criss-crossed by ports built or funded by China.  Everyone benefited from these Chinese development projects, especially with the increase in the volume of Chinese investments in the region through industrial complexes, ports and free trade zones led by China, linking east with west, from the Arabian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. 

  Recent years have also witnessed a continuous flow of Chinese diplomatic visits between the countries of the Middle East and China, through many international forums and trade fairs that bring together the two parties. In addition, China is increasingly cooperating with Middle Eastern countries in the field of non-traditional security. In addition to the joint efforts between China and all the countries of the region in combating the Corona pandemic and climate change issues, there has been an increase in joint training between China and the countries of the region on combating terrorism, and cooperation in the field of cyber and digital security, which was highlighted by (the cooperation initiative between China and the League of Arab States in  field of data security), which was signed in 2021.

 Here, reference must be made to (China’s new security system in the Middle East), which China announced on September 21, 2022, through its foreign minister and Chinese State Councilor at the time “Wang Yi”, at the second session of the “Middle East Security Forum” in the capital.  Beijing, under the title: “Building a New Security Structure in the Middle East.”  With the strong support of the China Institute of International Studies, under the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it invited more than seventy security figures from across the Middle East and North Africa, including state leaders and former diplomats. The second session of the China and the Middle East Security Forum bore the slogan of “Advancing the construction of a new framework for Middle East security and achieving common regional security”. During the opening session of the forum, Chinese State Counselor and Foreign Minister “Wang Yi” affirmed China’s keenness to seize the opportunity to implement the (Global Security Initiative) put forward by Chinese President “Xi Jinping”, to work with the countries of the Middle East and the international community to (push forward the construction of a new framework for security in the Middle East). China announced its proposal explicitly with regard to the security of the Middle East, through the proposal of its Foreign Minister “Wang Yi” consisting of (four points) to implement a new proposed Chinese strategy in (adhering to a new security concept) based on common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and consolidating the leadership position.  To the countries of the Middle East (instead of the players intruding on the region according to the Chinese expression), with the Chinese commitment with all the countries of the region to the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter, and to promote dialogue on regional security between China and the region with transparency.  This is the same as what Chinese President “Xi Jinping” put forward during his speech at the summit that brought China together with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries in December 2022, by inviting President “Xi” to all regional countries to join the (Global Security Initiative), and his assertion that China and the “GCC countries”  Gulf states should be partners for their common security.  From my point of view, this is tantamount to real Chinese security involvement in the region.

  Based on the foregoing, we find that the diplomacy of Chinese President “Xi Jinping” in the new era after the 20th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China on October 16, 2022 in Beijing, is consistent with the vision of China and the joint Arab countries to advance multipolarity of international powers and democratize relations.  International affairs, working together to push for the establishment of a new, more just and democratic system, focusing on the call for respect for the Charter of the United Nations and other recognized rules in international relations, adhering to the principle of equal sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, and the right of all countries to equal participation in international affairs was great or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, coinciding with supporting the rights of all peoples to gain freedom, independence and sovereignty over all their lands in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions.  Here we find that these visions, which reflect the prevailing demands of developing countries, have contributed to safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and strengthening the just cause of peace and development in the world with China in the new era.

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

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East Asia

The 3rd Trans-Himalaya Forum UN for Ecological Civilization and Environmental Protection



Despite the world is passing through a very tense and hostile geopolitical environment, yet, in a significant diplomatic development, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani is set to attend the 3rd Trans-Himalaya Forum for International Cooperation in Nyingchi, Tibet, from October 4-5, 2023. This visit comes at the special invitation of China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, underlining the mutual commitment of nations in fostering regional cooperation.

Historical Background and Importance:

Tibet is also known the roof top of the world, it is one of the oldest civilization, and may be the most important part of the world, especially for this entire region. It is the source of water for whole region, most of the rivers originates from it. It biodiversity is crucial for the entire region. The Trans-Himalaya Forum, initiated in 2018, stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit among regional countries. It aims to deepen practical cooperation on vital issues such as geographical connectivity, environmental protection, ecological preservation, and cultural exchanges. The last in-person meeting, held in 2019, facilitated invaluable discussions that paved the way for shared understanding and strategic collaborations.

China views the Trans-Himalaya Forum as a platform that embodies the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation. The forum aligns with China’s commitment to ecological civilization and environmental protection, central tenets of its development agenda. China values it friends and Pakistan is closet of its neighbor, friend and stakeholder in the region. By inviting esteemed diplomats like Foreign Minister Jilani, China underscores its commitment to fostering international partnerships and building a sustainable future together. China is committed to work with the rest of world in all domains and especially with its close friends and allies. Chinese initiatives like Global Security, Global Developments, and Community of shared futures are in line with the same spirit. China believes in multilateralism, and openness, while oppose hegemonic approach and protectionism.

Importance of the Forum:

This year’s theme, “Ecological Civilization and Environmental Protection,” reflects the urgency of addressing environmental challenges collectively. The Forum serves as a crucial avenue for nations to exchange ideas, best practices, and innovative solutions. It not only enhances regional cooperation but also fosters a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures that make up the Trans-Himalayan region. Currently the world is facing severe challenges on clash of civilization and environmental fronts. China being a responsible nation is well aware of such challenges and its consequences, that is why, it is struggling to prevent any major disaster. It has been putting all efforts to resolve the common issues and problems faced by humankind. It is open to all nations in a positive manner to collaborate to resolve the serious concerns. This forum will be a right stem in the right direction.

Expected Outcomes:

The Forum is anticipated to yield fruitful outcomes. Bilateral meetings, including those with the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, the Foreign Minister of China, and the Interim Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, are expected to foster stronger ties and collaborative initiatives. Additionally, the collective discussions are likely to result in joint projects, resource sharing, and policy frameworks aimed at environmental conservation and sustainable development.

The Way Forward:

Looking ahead, the Trans-Himalaya Forum will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the region. By embracing the Chinese perspective, nations can harness the collective wisdom of diverse cultures and work towards a harmonious and prosperous Trans-Himalayan region. As nations engage in collaborative efforts, this forum exemplifies the power of unity and shared goals, paving the way for a greener, more sustainable future for all. The beneficiaries will be all stakeholders in the region and will also contribute to global peace, development and harmony.

Pakistan is always playing positive role in geopolitics and will be important member of the global community in resolving immediate concerns. As a matter of policy, Pakistan has been contributing toward resolving issues and overcoming challenges. Pakistan is always a partner in any positive developments leading toward security, peace and developments. The UN always appreciated its role in UN peace keeping mission.

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East Asia

Reading the Rise of China



Unlike in the past, when the geopolitical discourse worldwide was going through a massive geopolitical metamorphosis in the first half of the 20th century, as the fall of empires were accompanied by the rise of democracy, republics, socialist and communist dictatorship. Meanwhile, it resulted in the rise of the US and USSR as two superpowers at the end of the second world war, and such a geopolitical metamorphosis situation is evident with China’s rise, whose rise under Xi Jinping’s leadership has countered the US and its global order and supremacy. Since its independence, China has come a long way from being a poverty-ridden, low-income group nation to now the second-largest economy in the world.

To address its economic crisis after the demise of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping’s 1979 “reform and opening up” pushed China to emphasize the four-modernization areas to develop itself as a prosperous country. As the reform emphasized the modernization of agriculture, industry, emphasis on science and technology and securing national defense, it also resulted in China being viewed as a strategic threat to the West in the later years. Furthermore, it resulted in the beginning of a debate over whether the rise of China is peaceful or not? China, since the 1990s, has adopted, basically, what we called the “charm offensive” and employed it to win over its neighboring and regional states, where China uses persuasion opposite to threat as a mode. It was done along with diplomacy, trade, investment, engage in cooperative regionalism, strengthening cultural relationships, offering aid, and acted as a responsible nation in resolving regional and global disputes.

               The concept of peaceful rise or “hepingjueqi” was first used by Zheng Bijian in 2003 and was adopted by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in December 2003 as a Chinese expression to reflect country’s growth and its status as a global power from a less threatening perspective. Growing concern over the concept resulted in the adoption of peaceful development; as a result, in 2005, a white paper on China’s Peaceful Development Road was issued; it sees peaceful development for the country’s modernization as inevitable one because it will promote global peace and development. As the paper seeks a mutual benefit and common development, thus building a harmonious world altogether, which was later reiterated in the 2011 White Paper “China Peaceful Development”. With repetition of the word peace and common development, the basic content of the peaceful rise was kept while its outer look was refined as the term ‘rise’ gave way to ‘road’, which will ensure accessibility to ‘development’ and not domination. It remains the base to project China’s rise to the world since the arrival of President Xi Jinping in 2012, which transformed China’s rise to be assertive and aggressive. However, Xi’s economic infrastructure (the BRI and Made in China 2025) and financial institutions developed (AIIB and National Development Bank) carried out since 2013 to sustain the Chinese economy and economic growth raises one relevant question, i.e., ‘will China face the ‘Soviet’s fate and how so far it avoided an economic collapse’? Explanation of such question will lay a base to understand the need for Xi’s vision for China and the Chinese Dream and its development so far impacted the world order established since the collapse of the USSR.

               Today, China’s aggressive behavior worldwide isn’t only supported by its strong and vibrant export-led economic growth and Xi’s leadership; it also highlights the need to discuss diminutively how China’s rigor to learn from the Soviet’s mistakes continued to help China to expand its strategic hegemony. China took a cue from the USSR’s shortcomings and the mistakes it committed during the Cold War range from economic to military aspects to protect itself from committing the same mistakes. However, whether it was Soviet’s the Glasnost or Perestroika, which opened the country to the western lifestyle and freedom of thought and expression, weakened the Soviet’s central authority as Chinese leaders considered through ethnonationalism and political unrest in the country. Unlike the Soviets, China enjoys a large homogenous society and further addresses its periphery which includes Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang, which are under CCP’s tight control to counter any Colour Revolution. Further, since the 1979 Vietnam War, as China argues, it has never engaged in any proxy warfare and instead invested its resources to couple its economies with other economies. Although, today, it created uneasiness for other countries to contain China’s rise and geopolitical ambition.

               Meanwhile, as China hid its geopolitical ambition, it further transformed itself into a global manufacturing hub. As Soviet mistakes continued to reflect in the CCP research work to avoid the Glasnost moment, Watch the Periphery and further embraced Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics. President Xi Jinping, in his speech to party officials in 2013, reiterated apart from maintaining ideological control and upholding the Marxist-Leninist principle, ’a great power fall when central authority losses power and respect which will only help China to avoid Soviet Union’s mistakes. In such regard, to control the flow of information and restrain free speech, the party maintained control over the digital and non-digital platforms and didn’t allow Facebook, Google Services, The New York Times, Twitter, Washington Post, and others to work which established what called the ‘Great Firewall of China’. Such surveillance of the Chinese internet put Chinese people under steady surveillance as China uses the Deep Pocket Inspection, which allows Chinese intelligence agencies to keep an eye on Chinese people and censor information and Chinese lives establishing China as Digital Authoritarian who exports its model to other countries which become a serious issue today.

               Under such circumstances and growing issue of human right issue in Xinjiang and the CCP is working towards suppressing democracy in Hong Kong and changing the demography of Tibet. Further, the intent to unify Taiwan with China, coupled with slowing of the Chinese economy due to its Zero-Covid policy, questions CCP rule and asks when will China and the CCP collapse? To contradict such scrutiny, China argues West always view China at the cusp of crisis and will experience a hard landing ending CCP rule and COVID as China’s Chernobyl moment. In recent times whenever China faces or encountered any challenges like unfounded rumor of a coup in China and Xi Jinping’s sudden departure from the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 15-16 September 2022 or the ongoing property crisis like the Evergrande, China argues pushes the West to create wild prophecies concerning the fate of the CCP and China.

               However, Zhang Weiwei, Director of the China Institute of Fudan University, argues most of the predictions made by the West failed as they failed to predict the fall of the Soviets or the rise of China, and the rise of Trumpism and the 2008 financial crisis. He states West’s predictions reflect ideological biasedness towards no-western countries, like how they will be westernized and use their historical experience to analyse China’s future ignoring civilizational differences as they will end up concluding the wrong prediction. However, as China is facing economic and policy challenges with growing discontent among Chinese elites, Xi’s absence and other development following the SCO summit allowed the global Falun Gong movement – China banned it in 1999 – to spread anti-CCP and Xi’s discontent further. However, the possibility of a coup in China has been addressed by the party, and Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption movement with military coup remains implausible or considered the wishful thinking of the West; as such rumour reflects world is still unaware of China’s inner workings as Global Times argues none are even remotely right.


               As Global Times argues, unlike how the West view China, under Xi Jinping and CCP leadership, China was able to achieve a faster economic growth rate and handled the Covid-19 pandemic well compared with the West who only exaggerate China’s problem and downplayed its growth and development reflecting having a wrong prediction of China. It further states China’s collapse perspective reflects in Francis Fukuyama, who, in 2012, argued that ‘China’s top-down political system will only blow up due to the pressure from a growing middle class who’re empowered by wealth and social network’. Meanwhile, Zhang Yiwu, Professor at the Peking University, states in China today, there are more than 1 billion people who are exposed to the internet, which still didn’t impact the CCP’s rule and authority; rather, Chinese used the medium to express their opinion on problems and warn the government to fix the problem and issues. Further, unlike other western scholars, Martin Jacquesargues with China continues to rise, support for its political system will increase, highlighting Chinese system worked which will strengthen in coming years as other countries will adopt it, which alarmed the West as it could lead to the ‘Sinification of the world’. To rebut the West’s China collapse theory, Chinese scholar like Yang Sheng argues instead of prophesizing China and CCP falls; the West should conduct poll using Pew and Ipsos, credible and authoritative institute. He states staying in the house and base your research on second-hand source data instead will only lead you away from the fact and fail to achieve a definite conclusion.

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US- Japan- South Korea Military Cooperation Pushes More Rigid Bipolar Security Arrangement in Northeast Asia

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Image source: twitter (X) @POTUS

The Russian-North Korean negotiations this month have provoked a lot of hype, particularly in the West. It is assumed by the West that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s trip might indicate a profound change in Moscow’s overall approach to the security problems on the Korean Peninsula. Allegedly, a new so-called “Moscow-Beijing-Pyongyang axis” that harbors unquestionable hostile intentions toward the West is rapidly emerging in Northeast Asia. It is suggested that Moscow is now ready to directly assist North Korea with its nuclear and, especially, with its ballistic programs. Pyongyang, in its turn, might send large-scale military hardware supplies to Russia to serve the “special military operation” that Moscow has been conducting in Ukraine since February of 2022.

These allegations have to be addressed in a proper context. Speaking of various axes in Northeast Asia, one should not forget about the growing level of military cooperation between Washington, Tokyo and Seoul. Both Japan and the South Korea have dramatically increased their defense spending as well as the scale of their trilateral interaction. In the end of 2022, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced an unprecedentedly ambitious five-year rearmament plan that should turn Japan into the nation with the third highest defense budget in the world after the US and China.

The changing posture of the South Korea is arguably even more significant. After all, Japan has always been a disciplined US geopolitical partner at least since signing the 1960 US-Japan security treaty. South Korea for a long time has consistently resisted pressure from the US to join Washington and Tokyo in a trilateral alliance or to drop its friendly ties with Beijing and Moscow. President Yoon Suk-yeol, who came to power in 2022, apparently has a different take on the South Korea’s security prospects. The traditional distancing from the US-Japan strategic partnership is no longer in place. The new leadership makes steps to bring Seoul closer to Quad and AUKUS. It even entertained the idea of South Korea obtaining indigenous nuclear weapons. On top of that, for at least last two years, both Japan and South Korea have been meticulously integrated into the new global strategy of the North Atlantic Alliance.

A devil’s advocate would argue that both Tokyo and Seoul have every reason to be concerned about security challenges mounting in Northeast Asia. Still, even giving both nations the benefit of the doubt, it is impossible to deny that the security and political “axis” in this region of the world is being built by the West rather than by the East. And, as Newton’s Third Law tells us, for every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction. When one body acts on another, it experiences an equal and opposite reaction from the other body. Now, the question is not if a nuclear war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, North Korean Defense Minister General Kang Sun-nam stated in August, but who starts it and when.

Let’s be clear: Pyongyang is much more sensitive about its sovereignty and independence than both Tokyo and even Seoul. This means that North Korea will never become an obedient proxy in Russia’s or China’s capable hands. However, the growing US-Japanese-South Korean military cooperation inevitably leads to stronger China-Russia-North Korea ties. This, in turn, means that we are moving toward a more rigid bipolar security arrangement in Northeast Asia. Unfortunately, for the time being, all the dreams for a common security system in the region have to be put on hold.

Will this change affect Russia’s and China’s approaches to the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula? Neither Moscow nor Beijing is interested in a nuclear arms race there. Russia and China have little to gain and a lot to lose if the existing fragile consensus in the United Nations Security Council on North Korean nuclear program were to collapse. On the other hand, the new great powers confrontation can do nothing but erode the trust, which is indispensable for maintaining this consensus. There is still time to reverse these dangerous trends toward bipolarity in the region. Instead of lamenting about the actions of the other side, major actors should engage in inclusive consultations on how to defuse the situation.

Twenty years ago, the so called six-party talks on nuclear program were launched in Beijing. Over six years this multilateral format had its ups and downs, successes and failures. In April of 2009 this mechanism finally hit the wall. Though it is hardly possible to get back to where the region was 20 years ago, the spirit of the six-party talks remains the best hope for security solutions in the region of Northeast Asia.

From our partner RIAC

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