Middle East Deals Show China Trapped in America's Web
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  • Luke Lea

    ” The US remains the only country with the power either to guarantee or cut off the flow of oil from the Middle East.” Doubtful on both counts, but especially the second. Seeing as a cut off would plunge the world economy into chaos and depression, why would we do it?

  • But what happens if the indispensable power can no longer guarantee the safety of the sea lanes?

  • Jim.

    “And China’s deepening integration into world financial markets makes decisions like observing sanctions against Iran necessary despite their inconvenience and cost.”

    Could you expand on this thought?

  • RAZ

    The Financial Times reports that China and India are seeking to circumvent the US sanctions on Iran by exploring barter arrangements that do not involve cash payments. This obviously may have some advantages — I am not sure how much use Chinese toys are to the Iranian regime; hopefully, the goods that these nations might send to Iran to cover thier debt will NOT include goods that have a military application — but still indicates that the need of these nations for natural resources outweighs their willingness to play by the US’s playbook!

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @RAZ: finding legal ways to circumvent sanctions (as opposed to just ignoring them) means that the Chinese would rather work within the system that outside it. I agree, the sanctions are of limited use — that is almost always the case. But unlike, say, Italy and Japan in the 1930s, China does not want to openly flout the ‘rules’ of the road.

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