Saturday, April 20, 2024
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Home » Opinion| China-Palestine, Russia-Algeria Partnerships Mark Outset of Geopolitical Shift in Greater Middle East

Opinion| China-Palestine, Russia-Algeria Partnerships Mark Outset of Geopolitical Shift in Greater Middle East

by Benoy Mazumdar
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The greater Middle East will continue to be a significant area of international competition and conflict. Recent events have made it clear that the United States cannot withdraw from the region without incurring heavy losses, especially after the damage it has inflicted. China and Russia are increasing their presence in the region, which will hasten the process of eliminating what remains of American hegemony.

The Iranian-Saudi reconciliation and Syria’s return to the Arab family have led to strategic partnerships between China and Palestine, as well as Russia and Algeria. This has caused American panic and confirmed that their calculations regarding the Middle East were wrong. Developing countries still have the power to choose and change the current political situation and are not subject to absolute American control.

The strategic partnership announced by the Chinese and Palestinian presidents last Wednesday confirms that the Palestinian state recognises that the multipolar world is the last hope in the face of this ongoing human tragedy, which is worsening daily with unwavering American support.

The meeting addressed many common issues between the two countries, such as Palestine’s desire to strengthen cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative and activate the mechanism of the joint economic and trade committee between the two countries. 

However, the most important aspects of the meeting focused on the Palestinian issue. During this discussion, the Chinese president made it clear that “in the face of unprecedented changes in the world and new developments in the Middle East, China stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Palestine and work towards a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue.”

The Chinese president has put forward a three-point proposal to help solve the Palestinian issue. The proposal aims to establish an independent and fully sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also aims to ensure the economic and living needs of Palestine and calls for an increase in development and humanitarian assistance from the international community.

This Chinese stance towards the Palestinian cause is not new, nor is it an attempt by China to escalate competition with the United States, as claimed by American media outlets that were alarmed by the meeting between the Chinese and Palestinian presidents.

China has always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights. This has led to tension in the Israeli-Chinese relationship, particularly at the beginning, due to the Palestinian issue. It is worth noting that Israel was one of the first countries in the world to send diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China in 1949. However, China did not formally reciprocate until the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992.

Several factors played important roles in preventing the establishment of “Chinese-Israeli” relations. Perhaps the most significant of these reasons is China’s policy of opposing imperialism and considering the Zionist entity to be similar to the issue of “Formosa” (now Taiwan).

During this period, Israel was unable to establish official relations with China, despite its efforts to do so. The Chinese boycott of Israel persisted until the end of the 1980s. However, Israeli-Chinese relations improved after Israel accepted the Camp David Treaty and China adopted a policy of gradual economic openness. In addition, the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 greatly impacted the opening of many countries, including China, to Israel.

Relations between China and Israel have gradually improved over time. In 2015, Israel became China’s third-largest market in West Asia, while China became Israel’s largest market in Asia and the seventh-largest market overall. China has also increased its influence within the Jewish lobby to reduce pressure from the US Congress, which has historically impeded Chinese-Israeli relations.

The United States was terrified by the Chinese initiative to mediate in the Palestinian cause. This is because China can play a positive role in re-negotiating and reviving the two-state solution. The United States does not want this because it would reveal its inability to control Israel, and would also expose the Biden administration’s collusion with the Netanyahu government to establish an apartheid state in Palestine.

China has many pressure cards, the most important of which is its ability to influence Iran, which poses an existential threat to Israel in the region. This is especially true after Israel and America failed to form a united front against Iran within Arab countries. In contrast, China succeeded in brokering a historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, showcasing its power in mediating between the two nations.

One factor driving Israel’s desire to strengthen ties with China is the latter’s projected economic dominance by 2030, regardless of its relationship with the United States.

This is because the Israeli strategy in international relations is based on the “neoliberal” theory, which was crystallised and strengthened in Israeli political thought by Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin, and Haim Ramon. This theory is rooted in the pursuit of mutual benefit and the achievement of the greatest amount of common interests. It prompts Israeli policymakers to balance the necessity of preserving the American strategic ally with the need to invest in the bilateral relationship with the emerging Chinese power.

On the other hand, the recent agreement to deepen the strategic partnership between Russia and Algeria, concluded last week between Presidents Putin and Tebboune, confirms that the political scene in the Middle East is changing positively towards undermining the hegemony of the United States. This agreement coincides with the Palestinian-Chinese partnership.

Deepening the partnership between Russia and Algeria can be seen as a direct response to the US attempt to “punish” Algeria for not joining the sanctions against Russia. A group of senators reportedly sent a letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressing concern about Algeria’s decision not to join the sanctions against Russia. The senators suggested that Algeria be punished under the “CAATSA” law, which involves imposing sanctions on opponents of the United States.

Today, deepening strategic relations with both China and Russia in the Middle East does not necessarily mean joining an opposing camp to achieve interests. Rather, this shift signifies that Middle Eastern countries are still capable of steadfastness, choice, and resistance. In fact, they have the potential to bring about a radical change in the global scene, despite all the conspiracies hatched by the United States to control this region of the world.

Source: Daily News Egypt

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