China on Wednesday denounced US policies in the Middle East as “selfish”, as it blamed Washington for destabilising the fraught region where Beijing has stepped up investment in recent years.
While US President Donald Trump has decided to abruptly withdraw troops from northeast Syria and reimpose sweeping sanctions on Iran, Beijing has doubled down on its economic commitments in the oil-rich region. “The United States, the world’s only superpower and one with tremendous influence in the region, has pursued a selfish and unilateralist policy,” said Chen Xiaodong, China’s assistant foreign minister.
This policy “sides with the strong at the expense of the weak, which has been a prominent factor behind the security predicament of the region”, said Chen, speaking at the two-day Middle East Security Forum in Beijing.
Since taking office, President Xi Jinping has overseen a concerted effort to expand Chinese influence in the Middle East and Africa, including the construction of the country’s first military base in Arab League state Djibouti. — AFP