China is the top buyer of Iranian oil and geopolitical experts have suggested Beijing could exercise significant influence over the Iranian regime, whose Lebanese affiliate Hezbollah has repeatedly targeted Israel since the start of the war.
But Brent Sadler told the Daily Express Xi is not going to play peacemaker and is likely to exploit the threat in the Middle East to pursue its objectives in Asia to the detriment of the US and its allies in the area.
Sadler said: “China’s interests are served by distracting the US so chaos in the Middle East serves that purpose.
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“Recent months indicate China is not ready to focus on stability in the region seriously yet, but should it decide to it can and it will be at the US’ disadvantage.
“More directly to the disadvantage of our allies like Japan and South Korea reliant on Middle East crude and LNG.
“That is until the US can supplant the region as a source of their energy needs.”
China’s head of regional affairs Wang Di insisted there is an “urgent need for a ceasefire” and Iran claimed a meeting with Wang this week would “strengthen communication and coordination” with Beijing to de-escalate the war in Gaza.
The author of US Naval Power in the 21st Century noted the US has multiple “leverages” it could use to deter China from pushing forward with its expansionistic strategy.
Sadler said: “One, the rallying of regional partners and allies to a more forceful push-back to Chinese belligerence and aggressiveness – think Philippines around Second Thomas Shoal, Australia with AUKUS, Japan increasing defence spending over 2 percent in the coming years.
“The US also has a military capability and sustaining a robust military (specifically two aircraft carriers strike groups) nearly persistently in the Western Pacific for the past two years needs to be guarded and sustained at a minimum.
“But the Army needs to up its deployment patterns to the region through a more robust Pacific Pathways deployment program.”
The People’s Republic has also continued to pursue an antagonistic approach to reiterate its claim over the South China Sea.
Xi has also adopted an increasingly hostile rhetoric towards Taiwan, signalling he plans to reclaim the island as part of China proper.
Original News : https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1835878/china-middle-east-chaos-distract-us-asia-plot