Global Affairs

China's changing stance towards the Middle East

Beijing's statement that it may protect its vessels sailing through the Persian Gulf signals a shift that will change the region

LONDON • China likes to prepare the ground for major shifts in its security policies by making seemingly minor public announcements. And that may well be the case with a recent media statement by Mr Ni Jian, the Chinese Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

What he told a Reuters correspondent last week was certainly vague: China might consider using its own military ships to protect Chinese vessels sailing through the waters of the Persian Gulf, should the current military situation in the region deteriorate even further.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2019, with the headline 'China's changing stance towards the Middle East'. Print Edition | Subscribe