Chinese Foreign Minister: “China opposes any form of interference in other countries’ domestic affairs under the pretext of human rights protection.”
As China expands its economic and geostrategic footprint in the Middle East, it promises to protect Arab and Muslim-majority countries from the U.S. and Western “interference.”
“We oppose imposing ideology on others, and using human rights to interfere in other nations’ affairs and smear them,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi declared as he wrapped up a week long visit to Iran, Turkey, Saud Arabia and other Gulf Arab states. “China opposes any form of interference in other countries’ domestic affairs under the pretext of human rights protection,” he added in a statement issued by the Chinese foreign ministry.
“China says it will stand with Middle East against foreign interference,” the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday, citing the foreign minister’s Middle East trip. The newspaper reported his comments:
China has vowed to work with six Middle East nations to help protect their core interests against foreign interference and allegations of human rights abuses, as all the parties face rising pressure from the United States.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the promise on Tuesday at the end of his week-long trip to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, UAE, Bahrain and Oman. During his visit he sought to garner support from the mostly Islamic countries for China, which itself is facing sanctions from the US, European Union, Britain and Canada over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.
Wang also suggested launching a regional security dialogue, to be hosted by China, and promoted the use of local currencies for trade settlements, an idea Beijing is keen on to reduce its dependence on the US dollar.
“China and the six nations will continue giving mutual support to each other regarding their core interests. This is the most important outcome of the trip,” he told Chinese state media.
“We oppose imposing ideology on others, and using human rights to interfere in other nations’ affairs and smear them.”
Wang’s remarks are part of the latest Beijing charm offensive aimed at expanding its economic and military clout in the Middle East. Communist China, which puts its Muslim minorities in forced labor camps, is now projecting itself as the Muslim-majority Middle East’s defender.
To expand its influence in the Middle East, China chose Iran as the bridgehead. On Saturday, Wang signed a 25-year trade and military deal with Tehran. Besides getting its hands on the country’s oil and gas resources, China will gain access to Iranian military and naval bases, news reports suggest.
The Sino-Persian deal reportedly includes “secret clauses,” fueling further speculations about China’s designs in the oil-rich and strategically-located Middle East. The Iranian regime is “struggling to deflect accusations that their recent conclusion of a landmark ’25-Year Strategic Roadmap’ agreement with China boosting trade, investment and military relations contains secret clauses which violate Iran’s national sovereignty,” the Singapore daily Strait Times reported on Wednesday.
China’s economic and military tie-up with Iran should alarm Arab countries, as many of them are direct victims of cross-border terrorism sponsored by the Shia-Islamic regime. Tehran, the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism, backs Shia and Sunni terrorist groups from the Mediterranean to the Arabian Sea.
Equally dubious is China’s newly unveiled “Security and Stability Initiative” for the Middle East. Beijing proposes a “framework for collective, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in the Middle East” under its stewardship, the Chinese foreign ministry declared on Tuesday. The framework, coupled with the Chinese growing naval and military presence in the region, will change the Middle East’s balance of power.
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