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China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) shakes hands with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem during a joint news conference after a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China, December 24, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Lee - RTX1ZYBF

Countering Terrorism at the Heart of Chinese-Syrian Relations

By Abdallah Ahmad* — Over the past years, the Syrian crisis has undergone dramatic changes and at all levels. The US and its proxies in the region have been betting on overthrowing the Syrian regime and reorienting Syria’s geopolitical stance towards a pro-Western direction.

The war was not only against Syria, but also targeted the whole region and the world geopolitical scene, extending across the East with the intention of imposing hegemony over Eurasia, achieving the geopolitical doctrine that Brzezinski had originally pursued.

The United States did not conceal its strategic imperative of world domination, realizing that the main threat to the continuation of this hegemony was China and Russia. Therefore, targeting Syria was a vital step to implementing this strategy and to threaten Russian and Chinese interests, not only in the Middle East.

It is clear that United States uses terrorism to achieve its political goals, where terrorist organizations such as ISIS, Al-Nusra and the Muslim Brotherhood were tools in this war targeting Syria and the region.

In the end, terrorism strikes back at its sponsors. Terrorist bombings targeting different regions of the world are just the consequences of this dangerous investment of terrorism.

After more than 6 years of the war on terror, the Syrian army and its allies defeated ISIS, opening the door to a new phase for redrawing the geopolitical tracks in the region, while opening the door as well towards creating a multipolar world system.

This shift on the ground and in politics is only the beginning towards stabilizing this strategically critical region and continuing to fight terrorism at all levels, including the security, military and intellectual levels.

Syria was able to withstand the US project, no doubt, but the support of key allies, led by China and Russia, played a pivotal role in the crises too, since the crisis became an international conflict and confrontation.

Throughout history, China’s role has been remarkable. The ancient Silk Road, the friendship and the true partnership in the previous decades with Syria, ad China’s political and economic support were phenomenal. The use of the power of veto in the Security Council with Russia also had an important role in strengthening the steadfastness of the Syrian state. This in addition to Russia’s efforts in providing humanitarian assistance.

The basic principles of China’s policy toward Syria can be summed up in the statement of the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “Counter-terrorism is the foundation, dialogue is the way out and reconstruction is the guarantee.”

When we talk about Syrian-Chinese relations, we certainly do not talk about 10 or 20 or even 100 years, because these relations are rooted in ancient times. More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Silk Road linked China closely to the Arab countries, the harmony of Chinese and Arab civilizations.

Official Sino-Syrian relations have grown since 1955 and China’s politics have been characterized by standing up for the just causes of the Arab peoples in the face of occupation and Western hegemony

China’s foreign policy toward Syria has developed not only for Syria’s strategic, security and economic importance to China, but also on the basis of justice, the restoration of rights and defense of the oppressed.

China has been able to shape its foreign policy towards Syria in harmony with its interests & principles. However, China supported Syria during this period based, in addition to considerations of interest and ideology, on considerations for preserving China’s influence on the balance of power in the Middle East, having become one of the main poles in the world. The development of China’s foreign policy towards Syria coincided with China’s rising status and strength.

In this context, the “Belt and Road” initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, is not related to investment and economic relations only, but also provides a high degree of cultural, humanitarian and community exchange among the participating countries and aligned with Chinese strategy toward Syria.

China supports the Syrian state in the fight against terrorism, politically and logistically in addition to the reconstruction effort. Recently it provided $2 billion for reconstruction projects in Syria, This is an effective contribution to the stability of the region and the creation of new jobs.

Despite US attempts to change the dynamics of the conflict and upset the scales, its’ clearly game over in Syria. The Syrians and their allies made sure that the US has lost the ability to plan for the medium or long term in Syria.

Defeating terrorism in Syria changes the dynamics of conflict in the region, and establishes the parameters of a new multi-polar world.

In the meantime, in order to avoid ending in a major geopolitical conflict, the world may need several years to stabilize the region and to chart their future geopolitical influence.

But, it is the time of major transformations, the historical inevitability defeating terrorism is a certainty, opening the gateway to the new world… from Damascus to China, and passing through Tehran and Moscow.


*Abdallah Ahmad is a Syrian writer based in Damascus.

Source: China Plus

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