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China FM: Middle East has no 'power vacuum', no need for 'foreign patriarch'

January 16, 2022 at 4:15 pm

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Ankara, Turkey on 25 March 2021 [Turkish Foreign Ministry/Anadolu Agency]

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said yesterday that there is no “power vacuum” Middle East and is no need of a “foreign patriarch.”

Wang made the comments following a week of high profile meetings with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Turkey and Iran in Wuxi, east China’s Jiangsu province. He also held talks with the Secretary General of the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC).

According to a statement on China’s foreign ministry website Wang said the international community should help but not interfere in the Middle East’s affairs. “China’s efforts to maintain stability and promote peace [in the region] have not and will not stop,” he insisted.

Wang met with the Gulf diplomats in order to further develop trade cooperation and cultural exchanges earlier this week.

He also separately met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday where the issue of China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region and the plight of its Uyghur population were discussed in addition to bilateral relations between the two countries.

Ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics next month, the Chinese statesman said that he hoped that Turkey and other Muslim majority countries would understand China’s security concerns regarding counter-terrorism and separatism in the mainly-Muslim province and win over their support for its policies. However, some human rights organisations and governments have accused Beijing of carrying out a genocide against the Uyghurs, a charge the Chinese government has denied.

During his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein AmirAbdollahian on Friday, Wang reaffirmed China’s opposition to US sanctions and a commitment to reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.  Amirabdollahian also used the opportunity to announce the launch of the 25-year cooperation agreement between Tehran and Beijing.

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