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Chinese Media Celebrate Saudi-Iran Announcement of Diplomatic Relations as a ‘Huge Breakthrough’

March 11, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—An article published today by Global Times commentator Hu Xijin is exultant over the announcement of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, over China’s role in brokering the deal, and at the prospect that this kind of approach can also be applied to the Ukrainian crisis.

Hu begins:

“Huge breakthrough! China, Saudi Arabia and Iran unexpectedly released a joint statement in Beijing on Friday evening, saying that in response to the noble initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping of China’s support for developing good neighborly relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran ... an agreement has been reached.”

Hu continued: “It’s truly a huge diplomatic breakthrough. Wall Street Journal commented that the deal mediated by China would jolt the geopolitics of the Middle East.” He wrote that “it’s still unknown when China began the secret mediation. In the past China has not brokered major peace deals. Therefore, the trilateral statement released in Beijing on Friday came as a surprise to the U.S. and the whole of the West.”

He also emphasized China’s role:

“Overall, the trilateral statement is clear evidence of China’s peaceful diplomacy beginning to exert influence in the world and a proof of China’s strength being transformed into diplomatic soft power. China is a world-class power that is full of goodwill. It never harms other countries and is truly committed to win-win cooperation. Reaching this trilateral statement will definitely strengthen the impression and trust of many countries toward China.”

Hu was explicit about the possibility of extending such a Chinese role to Kiev war: “Successful mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran will also enhance China’s discourse power to promote peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis.”

A second op-ed in Global Times today by Ding Long, a professor with the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, stated that “the fruitful outcome of the Saudi-Iran dialogue in Beijing is not only a great joy for the two countries, but also great news for the stability of the Middle East and even world peace.” He emphasized that “the dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing has achieved a major breakthrough,” and that “both countries have realized that development is the top priority.”

A signed editorial in today’s issue of China Daily by Zhang Zhouxiang drew attention to the difference between Chinese and American diplomacy. “While China makes peace, the U.S. makes war. The U.S. as the world’s only superpower has appeared in almost every region with conflict, but its existence always makes things worse. In the Middle East alone, it prolonged the Syrian civil war, complicated the Israel-Palestine conflict, and played the regional countries against each other.

“The essential difference lies in their ultimate concern, namely that China pursues peace and security for all, while the U.S. pursues its own hegemonic interests and those for the lobby groups and military-industrial complex. It is the ends that decide the means.”

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