On December 28 local time, the Chinese Navy’s “Xining Ship” operation in the Persian Gulf continued, and the joint maritime military exercise of China, Iran and Russia has just begun. Both Western media and Iran, the country concerned, are excited to see the emergence of Chinese warships as a sign of some kind of “alliance.”
But this is obviously not the case. This is not only related to the core parties, that is, Iran’s use of China from the beginning; the “alignment” arrangement also runs counter to Xi Jinping’s need to break the “peace deficit” in 2019. Beijing has other considerations on such major issues.
Alliance promotion is unfounded
Voices from Iran such as “alliance alliance” have long echoed. After the Chinese fleet arrived in Iran for the first time on September 20, 2014, participating in the “counter-terrorism exercise”, the major media in Tehran made a big splash and emphasized that “Chinese and Iranian warships have carried out unprecedented joint maritime exercises in the Persian Gulf.” And then create a “alliance” and other momentum.
Since then, Chinese experts have discovered that Iran ’s exaggerated sentiment is related to its “long-term sanctions from the West and poor economic and political environment”. Therefore, as soon as key issues such as the Iran nuclear agreement are blocked, Iran will rush to China Opportunities for developing relations among major powers.
On the contrary, if the situation improves, the Tehran side will choose to change course. For example, after the United States confirmed Iran’s compliance with the United Nations Agreement No. 2231 on the Iranian nuclear issue in April 2017, Tehran only gave “enhancing friendly relations and seeking to promote cooperation in the maritime field in the face of China-Iranian military exercises at the same time. Evaluation “, the previous” alliance “disappeared.
Unfortunately, as US President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2017, and imposed sanctions on countries that imported Iranian oil from November 2018. The good days of Iran from January 2016 to May 2017 came to an end. As Iran began enriching uranium material in May 2019 and after encountering military confrontations with the United States one after another in June, he once again urgently needed the platform of a great power.
Tehran’s public opinion operation soon began. After Iran and the United States successively “shot down drones” with each other in June 2019, and Iran detained a British tanker on July 21, Tehran announced the first “military exercise with Russia” on July 29, and immediately It was announced that Iran and Russia had signed the first exercise agreement, a move “to promote military cooperation between the two countries”; by September 23, China appeared in Iran’s report. In response, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly responded with the phrase “the Chinese army maintains normal exchanges and cooperation with the armed forces of other countries,” confirming that the significance of the exercise is ultimately limited.
In this way, even if Iran talks about the joint military exercise of the three countries after November, it will always emphasize its “unprecedented” and “union” special significance. But it is also only Iran that is constantly updating key information about this joint maritime exercise. While the Western world is still talking about its “axis of evil” clichés, the attitude from the US military proves that Beijing’s attitude is still as usual.
Beijing’s breakthrough in reducing peace deficit
It is undeniable that considering that China and Russia have confirmed a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014 and China and Iran also confirmed a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2016, the joint relationship between the three countries in this exercise is still obvious. Not to mention that China is still looking forward to being “a builder of peace in the Middle East, a promoter of development in the Middle East, a promoter of industrialization in the Middle East, a supporter of stability in the Middle East, and a cooperative partner of the Middle East.” But Beijing finally has its own ideas on regional security issues by 2019.
After all, China ’s move is ultimately to strengthen China ’s independence in international relations and to do its best to maintain world peace. This is in clear contrast to the goal of Chinese President Xi Jinping to solve the “peace deficit.”
To the outside world, it has been a long time since the concept of the “four deficits” including the “peace deficit” was put forward. This is a new vocabulary proposed by Xi Jinping during his speech in late March.
In his speech, Xi Jinping proposed four “deficits” in global governance: governance deficit, trust deficit, peace deficit, and development deficit. It is also emphasized that all parties should “stick to the same boat and crack the peace deficit”, that is, China will put forward a new concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, abandon the old thinking of the Cold War, zero-sum game, and the jungle rule of weak meat and strong food. Cooperation for peace and cooperation for security.
This means that China will provide constructive solutions to international hotspot issues, but will not bind itself to a special camp and be involved in the process of exacerbating the peace deficit. This idea can also be applied to the ongoing Persian Gulf military exercise. As far as Beijing’s thinking is concerned, he may continue to use the “Belt and Road” in its implementation as an entry point to deepen the trust of all parties and crack the “deficit”: because the Chinese side has already This way of governance was discussed during the “One Way” International Cooperation Summit.
In terms of China and Russia’s situation in Central Asia and even the Middle East, Russian analysts have already emphasized that the Russian-led Eurasian Union and China’s “Belt and Road” may face larger areas, and Russia also wants to connect through the “Belt and Road” The trade between the Far East and the Asia-Pacific region expands its influence in the Asia-Pacific region. When the two form a connection in Central Asia, the Middle East, and especially Iran, this convergence and docking extends from the SCO to the BRICS. Banks, and then the “Asian Investment Bank” and Silk Road Fund, are constantly deepening.
By the same token, neither China nor Iran is blank. Although the trade volume between the two countries has fluctuated severely due to the international community’s blockade and sanctions against Tehran, in 2014, this amount was 51.8 billion U.S. dollars. By 2018, it had plummeted to 33.39 billion U.S. dollars. Iran has also created obstacles for Chinese companies on the South Pars offshore oil and gas field. However, in general, after Xi Jinping stressed to the Iranian authorities in September 2015 that “the two sides must align their development strategies and China is willing to focus on promoting infrastructure and connectivity projects with Iran”, Iran is still the purpose of China to release excess capacity. One of the land.
At this point, looking at the current international situation, an “alliance” after a military exercise is not realistic or logical, but there is room for strengthening the joint relations between the three countries. Considering the recent situation between China, Russia, and Iran, a possibility exists of using interconnected belts to thread pins, and it may also become Beijing’s attempt to use the “Belt and Road” to solve the “four deficits”, especially the “peace deficits” Breach. “