Development solution to Mideast tangles

By Zhao Minghao
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Global Times, February 1, 2016
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Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) meets with Nabil al-Arabi (1st R), secretary general of the Arab League (AL), in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 21, 2016. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

Chinese President Xi Jinping's Middle East visit has achieved fruitful results, producing more than 50 cooperative documents with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iran in five days. The China-Middle East cooperation has revealed a different side of the turmoil region to the world. The tougher a situation the Middle East is facing, the more valuable hope will be. Peace and development are interdependent. Targeted killings, drones and bombers cannot address the threat of terrorizing the Middle East.

"Arab Spring," Libya's regime change and the Syrian crisis are jeopardizing the already-fragile stability of the Middle East. Currently, the region is facing three major challenges.

First of all, religious and ethnic conflicts are intensifying. Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds all claim to have been treated unfairly. In addition, major regional powers, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey, are competing for dominance in the Middle East.

To some extent, they are all hoping to fill the power vacuum after the US withdrawal from the region. This is a typical security dilemma where strengthening defense is regarded as preparations for invasion. Worse still, external powers such as the US and Russia have been deeply embroiled in the Middle East turmoil.

Therefore, Xi emphasized problems in the Middle East in his speech at Arab League headquarters on Thursday. "The Middle East is a land of abundance. Yet we are pained to see it still plagued by war and conflict," Xi said.

To be frank, China itself has no capability to solve the Middle East problem. Yet Beijing is trying to put forward a creative and different solution. Xi pointed out that "the key to addressing differences is to enhance dialogue," "the key to overcoming difficulties is to accelerate development," and "the key to choosing a right path is to make sure that it suits the national conditions."

Indeed, it is hard to find an honest broker on the Middle East problem. A new round of international meeting on the Syrian crisis will be held soon, but there is still a long way for reconciliation.

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