China’s Geopolitical Interests in Syria
These projects were discussed by the government of Syria and its diplomats in China and the Syrian Ambassador to China, Imad Moustapha confirmed that China, Russia and Iran will have priority over other participants in implementing economic initiatives and projects in Syria.
However, some experts expressed doubt regarding the timeliness of such initiatives, while others highlighted that by announcing its new initiative Beijing has sent a strong signal about its geopolitical interests in Syria to the international community.
A research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Chen Fengying believes that the primary goal is to stop the war in Syria and only afterwards to restore its infrastructure.
He added: “I believe that it is still too early to speak about the creation of an industrial park. Almost everything in Syria now needs restoration. Roads and house have been destroyed there, and only after restoring infrastructure and solving problems related to providing the population with food, we can talk about the restoration of production.”
Hence, he emphasized that it is extremely difficult to assess the risks associated with the announced project at the present time.
“Syria is located along the Silk Road,” he highlighted, “If the situation in this country stabilizes, we will be able to invest in various sectors of Syria’s economy within the framework of the project ‘One Belt, One Road’, or The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).”
Azhdar Kurtov of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) echoed Chen and stressed that the restoration of Syria’s infrastructure is the priority. He added that the revival and development of the country’s economy are of utmost importance.
“As for investments in high-yield spheres of industry, agriculture, transport of Syria, the provision of such a possibility by the Syrian government will depend on whether China or some other country will actively participate in the first phase [of reconstruction projects] aimed at creating proper conditions for the population. For sure, the government of Syria will give preference to those who will actively engage in the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure,” he said.
The head of the Department of Eurasian Integration and Development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the Institute of CIS countries, Vladimir Evseev believes that China’s willingness to invest in Syria means that the end of the conflict is not far off.
“China really does not want to be left behind — it wants to play a substantial role in the resolution of the Syrian crisis. It has waited for a long time: it was not sure that Russia’s actions would lead to the result that was ultimately achieved. China has become increasingly involved in solving the Syrian problem in order to provide the most favorable conditions for business,” he elaborated.
He also recalled that before the crisis China controlled a significant part of Syria’s oil and gas. Tens of billions of dollars were invested there. Predictably, China wants to continue to maintain control over the country’s energy sphere.
He suggested: “Perhaps, we are talking about some ‘corridors of economic influence’. China has made a principal decision to take part in the settlement of the Syrian crisis, both politically and economically. This can also be accompanied by limited involvement in the military sphere in order to test its weapons.”
Officially, China got involved in Syria last year by appointing its special representative for the country and it combines its diplomatic efforts with the provision of humanitarian aid to the Syrians.
Meanwhile, the new Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Aleksey Yerkhov said that Moscow and Ankara have reached a common understanding of the situation in Syria and are actively cooperating on the issue. He also expressed hope that he would manage to make a contribution to expansion of the sphere of common understanding between Russia and Turkey.
“We are closely cooperating… on the situation in Syria. We have a common understanding, which is proved by the achievements of the Astana [reconciliation] process,” he said.
This Exerpt of story was first appeared on Islam Times.https://www.sacreddaleel.org/chinas-geopolitical-interests-in-syria/Featured (Current Affairs)China,SyriaThese projects were discussed by the government of Syria and its diplomats in China and the Syrian Ambassador to China, Imad Moustapha confirmed that China, Russia and Iran will have priority over other participants in implementing economic initiatives and projects in Syria.However, some experts expressed doubt regarding the timeliness...Daleel News firstname.lastname@example.orgBbp_participantSacred Daleel