Iran, China Conduct Joint Naval Drills

Last summer, when the Syrian conflict was near its peak under the Obama administration, China unexpectedly warned it was ready to enter the proxy war when in a stunning announcement, Xinhua reported that Beijing was prepared to side with Syria and Russia, against the US-led alliance, and that Xi and Assad had agreed that the Chinese military will have closer ties with Syria and provide humanitarian aid to the civil war torn nation.

A high-ranking People’s Liberation Army officer also said that the training of Syrian personnel by Chinese instructors has also been discussed: the Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, Guan Youfei, arrived in Damascus on Tuesday for talks with Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij, Xinhua added. Guan said China had consistently played a positive role in pushing for a political resolution in Syria. “China and Syria’s militaries have a traditionally friendly relationship, and China’s military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with Syria’s military,” Xinhua quoted Guan. Continue reading

Need growing for China to take greater military role in Middle East, analysts say

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani take part in a welcoming ceremony in Tehran on January 23, during Xi’s Middle East visit. Photo: AFP

 

Greater presence seen as way to protect nationals working abroad and growing investment in the region

As China expands its interests in the Middle East, some experts are calling for Beijing to eschew its long-standing policy on non-interference in other countries’ affairs and set up permanent military bases.

A more comprehensive engagement would ensure better protection for Chinese nationals working in the region and the significant investment by Chinese companies there, they said.

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U.S. Position in the Middle East Continues to Decline

While President Barack Obama and his would-be successor Hillary Clinton try to convince the American people that everything is fine in regards to the U.S. position in the world and the security of the nation; foreign adversaries are celebrating what they see as the country’s decline. For example, an August 18 editorial in Global Times, the official media outlet of China’s ruling Communist Party, proclaimed “US suffers new setback in Middle East.” The column hailed its axis partner Russia for basing long-range bombers in Iran to attack targets in Syria in support of the regime of Bashar Assad. It is official Washington policy to remove Assad from power to end Syria’s civil war, but Russian and Iranian military intervention has thwarted the half-hearted, slow-motion effort of the Obama administration to aid the Sunni rebels. “More sadly for Washington” continues the Chinese editorial, “Iraq also consented to the passing-through of Russian military aircraft under some symbolic limits.” This is not surprising given that U.S. policy has allowed Baghdad to become a Shiite satrap of Iran. Though this error goes back to the Bush administration, Obama’s withdrawal of all American troops in 2011 allowed the Iraq regime to openly embrace Tehran. Continue reading

China Says Seeks Closer Military Ties With Syria

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Guan Youfei on April 7, 2014 / A

 

BEIJING (Reuters)–China wants to have closer military ties with Syria, state media on Tuesday cited a senior Chinese officer as saying during a rare visit to the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

Guan Youfei, director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, met Syrian Defense Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij in Damascus, China’s Xinhua state news agency said. Continue reading