Iraq situation demands China to engage

Updated: 2014-09-23 07:40

By Jin Baisong(China Daily)

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The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and toppled the Saddam Hussein government without authorization of the United Nations. The situation in the Middle East has now taken a dangerous turn with the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which poses a threat to China's economic interests in the region. The IS' intention is to "build" a new state and redefine the map of the Middle East.

China is the largest importer of Iraqi oil, accounting for more than 50 percent of the total. Since seeking alternative energy resources and spreading the risks are makeshift strategies, China needs to take preemptive measures to protect its economic interests in the region.

The world economy relies heavily on Middle East oil. So the international community should work together and take coordinated measures to overcome short-term, mid-term as well as long-term political and economic risks, because no resolution to the Middle East crisis looks in sight. Given these facts, China should not adopt an ostrich policy or decide to stay out of negotiations to deal with the changes in the region. Also, as a rising power, China cannot shy away from its international responsibilities.

Countries today have become so interdependent that unrest in a place like the Middle East could throw the entire international community off balance. And to rule out the possibility of such a scenario, China has to take part in the construction of a global governance system. Perhaps, as a member of the G20, China could consider joining other member countries in tackling the IS menace in order to stabilize the situation in Iraq and boost the global economic recovery.

Formed after the 2008 global financial crisis, the G20 is a platform for the world's leading political and economic powers. The combined economy of G20 member states accounts for 85 percent of the world total, and experience shows that in terms of results the group is more effective than the UN. Therefore, the G20 is the ideal organization to deal with the IS issue.

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