Report: China to Host Gulf Cooperation Council-Iran Summit

Image copyright: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that China is planning to host an unprecedented high-level summit between Iran and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) later this year, as Beijing steps in regional politics.

  • Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping reputedly put up the idea for the gathering during a regional summit he attended in Saudi Arabia last December, with the GCC members allegedly welcoming his proposal to cool down tensions with Iran.

The Spin

Pro-China narrative

China has just proven that the US style of creating conflict to pit nations against one another is no way to achieve regional peace anywhere, let alone in the Middle East. These nations are fed up with war, and China has offered them an opportunity to slip out from under the thumb of the US and engage in legitimate, autonomous diplomacy with a different global power. This is the beginning of a new era, one in which countries don't have to cower in the face of Western might just to build economic success.

Anti-China narrative

While it does seem that China's goals in the Middle East are limited to energy and economic relations, what Beijing hasn't yet faced are the dire security problems that come with doing business in the region. Words like "common interests" and "political dialogue" are all good in theory, but only time will tell if Beijing can achieve these lofty goals in the face of rising militant groups and sporadic conflict.

Go Deeper

Establishment split



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