China is still trying to build a base in the UAE

China is still trying to build a base in the UAE

Is the Chinese project for a base in the UAE moving forward? The Washington Post obtained confidential information in this regard, while discussions are growing in the United States about how to deal with the relations of the Gulf allies with Beijing.

US intelligence agencies have identified construction of a suspected Chinese military facility in the UAE as of December 2022, a year after Abu Dhabi reassured Washington that it had halted the project due to US concerns. News of these developments has been provided before Washington Postwho obtained top secret intelligence documents.

Emirate base

Chinese military officials call the initiative “Project 141.” The area is located in Khalifa Port, where the China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) conglomerate is already operating. At the end of 2021, the UAE presidential foreign policy advisor announced, Anwar GargashHe announced that some of the expansion work in the area administered by Chec—those of Washington’s concern—had been discontinued. It is almost superfluous to consider the tactical, strategic and symbolic value of infrastructure – which is why we have been talking about it for some time.

For Beijing, that could mean planting a base within an increasingly central region – which remains very important for China to supply energy raw materials – and doing so in a key country. The UAE has become one interlocutor Global finance, launched in high-tech projects, are active champions of regional dynamics, and have for some time shown an interest in acting as an international player, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by building a new multipolar dimension of global business. The Chinese idea (and partly the emirate) is to connect the necklace of pearls – the ports in which the very important UAE logistics companies operate – with the sea routes of the Silk Road. The base will add more depth to the top.

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Activities at the port near Abu Dhabi are among several developments in the UAE involving the Chinese military that are being monitored by US intelligence due to concerns that the Middle East ally is developing too close security ties with China at the expense of US interests, according to the estimates received. in the documents he sees WaPo. The sighting of Chinese military personnel near other sensitive construction sites also “annoyed” US officials.

Chinese network

In December last year, the Chinese structure at Khalifa Port was “likely connected to electricity and municipal water” and “construction of a gated perimeter for a logistics storage site was completed,” a leaked US intelligence document states. A second document warns that the “People’s Liberation Army Structure” (short for People’s Liberation Army) is an “important part” of Beijing’s plan to establish a military base in the Emirates.

Not only that, Beijing’s efforts in the UAE have been described as part of an ambitious campaign by the Chinese military to build a comprehensive military network that includes at least five overseas bases and 10 logistical support sites by 2030, according to the analysis. Map of other facilities planned in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa, thus new installments of the series are expected soon.

the WaPo She obtained these confidential, previously unreported documents from a series of leaked intelligence materials on messaging platform Discord. The revelations, which include details about Beijing’s air surveillance program and plans to develop supersonic drones, come at a complex time in US-China relations. Both countries compete for influence and global resources, not without tensions, and while the Biden administration continues to consider a way not to completely destroy relations with Beijing.

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stories and interests

In addition to the need for dialogue with China, there is no consensus in Washington on Abu Dhabi’s options regarding relations with Beijing. the Chinese business The Emirates, as well as Saudi Arabia, can be managed in part, because the Americans have always carried a strong energy: the United States has been present militarily in the region for years, and they have acquired privileged positions that could not be reached if decades ago, and they are the guardians of the regional security system.

A role that the Chinese do not seem interested in at the present time, but the opening of new bases could bring with it the possibility of greater participation for Beijing also in the field of defense and security, as well as in the economic and commercial field. Dimension (in which China already plays a dominant role). In addition to playing a more active role at the diplomatic level, the party / country has shown that it wants to be, for example by bringing Iran and Saudi Arabia to the Chinese capital to sign a historic agreement to normalize relations.

“In principle, China conducts normal law enforcement and security cooperation with other countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit,” said the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Washington — which was run by the current State Department until a few months ago. The United States operates more than 800 military bases abroad, which has caused concern in many countries around the world. He added, completely in line with the party’s strategic narrative, which drives America’s Cold War mentality and the problems it will and will continue to create.

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The case of the United States, the Middle East and China

The UAE’s ties to China have soured plans to move forward with a $23 billion sale of US F-35 fighter jets, Reaper drones and other US weapons, prompting speculation within the Biden administration about whether he will prioritize preserving longstanding partnerships in the East. Middle or foil the rise of China. “There are people who believe that this is a very difficult time in the Middle East and that the most important component of our diplomacy at this point has to be a degree of patience,” a senior US official told the news conference, which was not disclosed. WaPo. “But there are discussions, for sure.”

When asked how the United States can counter China’s increasingly active role in the region, the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara LeafHe recently responded to the Emirati media the NationalWe are not trying to be confrontational, we are very confident in the length, duration, scope and richness of our relationship across the region. And despite concerns in the region that the United States expects countries to choose sides between Washington and Beijing, Leaf said, “We’re not in a zero-sum game: it’s us or them.” The United States has specific areas of concern with China that it tells its allies, including “concerns about maximizing our technology, both commercial and defense. We have very specific concerns about the neighborhood of our systems with China. But these are very nuanced and meaningful discussions. I think it’s fair that We say our partners understand that.”

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