West Asia, North Africa need to be cautious in dealing with Chinese agreements

China is attempting to spread its claws and deepening its reach in the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region by leveraging its technical expertise in several countries from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Morocco, media reports said.


ANI | Beijing | Updated: 28-07-2022 17:29 IST | Created: 28-07-2022 17:09 IST
West Asia, North Africa need to be cautious in dealing with Chinese agreements
Representative Image . Image Credit: ANI
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China is attempting to spread its claws and deepen its reach in the West Asia and North Africa (WANA) region by leveraging its technical expertise in several countries from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Morocco, media reports said. However, the countries in the region need to be aware that Chinese agreements, which are ostensibly commercial in nature may also have political ramifications and that they go a long way in serving the politico-strategic objectives of the Chinese state.

Beijing is trying to cater to its self-interests by taking advantage of its upper hand in the technical field. Starting from Saudi Arabia, China is providing support to the West Asian region. With assistance from China, Saudi Arabia is expanding its digital infrastructure under 'Vision 2030', reported the European Times. Dawiyat, a subsidiary of the state-run Saudi Electric Company, and Saudi telecom firms Zain and Mobily are getting benefit from an agreement signed by China Communications Service Corporation Ltd (CCS). The CCS supplied optical fibre services to Dawiyat.

This is not an isolated aid which a Chinese firm is providing to Saudi Arabia firms. CCS is also providing an operation support system to the National Grid Project, the Expansion Project of Dawiyat and managing services for Saudi Arabia's GSM providers, including 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G. Separately, Saudi Space Commission inaugurated a space exhibition centre 'From Tuwaiq to Sohail' in partnership with Huawei. China Railway's 18th Bureau Group was awarded the contract for the Medina Tunnel Infrastructure Development Project worth USD 970 million.

The next West Asian nation where China is aiming to enhance its cooperation is Turkey. Beijing is doing so through several economic deals. A Turkey-China economic cooperation meeting was recently held at Turkish Industries and Business Association (TUSIAD) Headquarters. The meeting was held in cooperation with the China Industrialists and Businessmens Association (CINSIAD). Meanwhile, a fair titled 'Bringing China Homelife Turkey' was held (June) at the Istanbul Expo Center with the participation of over 450 companies from 11 provinces of China.

Furthermore, China is also posing as a friendly nation to Iraq to cater to its self-interest. This is even after the recent Chinese allegations against Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi of attempting to stall the progress of Chinese projects. Addressing a presser, the Chinese envoy to Iraq Cui Wei, affirmed Beijing's support for Iraq's sovereignty. Even after the friction, China is pursuing its expansionist agenda in Baghdad.

Clearing the air, the Chinese envoy underlined China's non-interference in Iraq's internal affairs and claimed that the growing Chinese presence in Iraq was solely aimed at improving the quality of life of the Iraqi people. In order to boost the development of the manufacturing sector with a focus on emerging technology, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and the Department of Industry and Information Technology in Shandong Province of China virtually signed (June) an MoU to enable both countries to exchange expertise and data on industrial sector front.

In North Africa as well, China is keeping Morocco at the centrestage of its cultural presence. Morocco became the only Arab country to host three Confucius Institutes. The third centre of the Confucius Institute was inaugurated in Rabat under the aegis of Mohammad V University. The other two are located in University of Hassan in Casablanca and in Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tangier, as per the media portal.

All of this is strong evidence of Beijing trying to make inroads into the WANA region at a fast pace.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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