Beijing’s push to the Persian Gulf

Relations between the People’s Republic and Iran are massively expanding. The People’s Republic of China is forging ahead and increasingly setting the pace regarding the dramatic shift in the global power structure. The accelerated historical processes flanking this development are breathtaking.
In mid-March, the foreign ministers of the two superpowers, the People’s Republic of China and the United States, met in Alaska – their rivalry will increasingly represent the destiny of the world – which went frosty and ended frosty.

Shortly thereafter, there was a meeting, the foreign ministers of Russia and China in the southern Chinese city of Guilin, where measures to strengthen financial independence were discussed. At the meeting, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov invoked a move away from the international payments system.

“China and Russia should strengthen their technological independence, switch to settlements in national currencies and in world currencies, which are an alternative to the dollar.”

Cooperation between Tehran and Beijing
This Saturday, the Chinese foreign minister arrived in Tehran and signed a 25-year agreement with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Jawad Sarif on “political, strategic and economic” cooperation between the two signatories.

Tehran believes the agreement can be “very effective in deepening Sino-Iranian relations,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.

This diplomatic move by Beijing is even more remarkable than the previous ones, as China is breaking the Western – led by the U.S. and Israel – sanctioning and isolating Iran.

It is therefore also no exaggeration to assume that Beijing’s initiative toward the Persian Gulf has the potential to noticeably shift the balance of power in the Middle East.

The cooperation agreement is set to run for 25 years, proving once again that Chinese leaders tend to think strategically in historical terms, a trait that used to be common to Western leaders but now seems to have been largely lost there.

An investment volume of 400 billion U.S. dollars
The sums that China intends to invest in Iran are considerable, namely around $400 billion, according to well-informed circles.

These sums are to be invested in the expansion of transport infrastructure and telecommunications, in the financial sector and in information technology. Iran is thus advancing to become a country that can become a supporting section of the Chinese New Silk Road. A glance at the maps confirms this.

Iran’s geographic location, between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, between Central Asia and the Middle East, with an area of about 1.6 million square kilometers, i.e., five times the size of the Federal Republic of Germany with about 80 million inhabitants, represents something of a filet piece geopolitically with respect to the global ambitions of the People’s Republic.

Iran’s abundance of raw materials also means that Beijing – in accordance with the agreement – will receive discounted oil from Tehran, which will level the Western sanctions regime.

Rumors have circulated that joint maneuvers between the two countries are also planned, but these have not yet been confirmed by either Tehran or Beijing. This much remains to be said, however: neither the regional power Iran, nor the superpower China will be able to stop anyone, should the economic partnership also be followed by a military one.

“What does that mean for me specifically!”
U.S. President Joe Biden – if he is even capable of grasping the geopolitical magnitude in its entirety – may soon have to consider how long it can continue to make its return to the nuclear agreement conditional on Iranian concessions.

China has been increasingly importing Iranian oil since the beginning of the year, which means that Beijing and Tehran have found ways to sensitively ease U.S. sanctions. The EU is once again unable to devise any strategies in the face of the dramatic global upheaval, instead waiting for Washington’s guidance and thus losing time and influence in shaping the world of tomorrow.

Christian Zürcher Send an email

From 1990 to 2005, Mr. Zürcher was a risk analyst in the institutional swiss banking sector - thereafter, he specialized exclusively in private trading of financial products. He is a certified real estate agent and studied economics. For more than thirty-five years, Mr. Zürcher has been intensively involved in the observation of financial markets, globalization, and the monetary system. Mr. Zürcher enjoys an excellent reputation as a political analyst and commentator related to finance.
Back to top button