Monday, December 22, 2014

Reading Chinese in the Mideast

Andrew Korybko

Sputnik - 22.12.2014 

The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Jafari, has confirmed that China has been assisting with airstrikes in the country, but did not specify the details except to say that it is not involved with the current coalition. The arrangement has been going on since September when he met his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, at a UN anti-terrorism meeting.

MOSCOW, December 22 (Sputnik) — China has always been staunchly against terrorism, and it is currently involved in its own year-long anti-terror operation in Xinjiang. The news that it would be assisting Iraq against the Islamic State (IS) came as a surprise for many, since this marks the first major commitment China has made to combating terror outside of the country.
The timing of the announcement may have been deliberately arranged to underscore Beijing’s seriousness towards this issue as it ramps up operations in Western China. Commenting on Jafari’s confirmation of China’s agreement with Iraq to exchange intelligence and train Iraqi soldiers, Foreign Minister Spokesman Hong Lei said that:

“China has been fighting terrorism and has been providing support and assistance to Iraq, including the Kurdish region, in our own way, and will continue to do so within the best of our capabilities”, without providing any additional information.