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How America Lost Its Credibility in Middle East

Updated: May 24, 2023

The dynamics of regional and global politics have significantly changed as a result of recent events in the Middle East. While American credibility keeps eroding, China, a rising global power, has emerged as a reliable mediator in the area.

China is primarily motivated by its economic interests in the region, which are why it is interested in reducing tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia. China understands that any conflict or instability in the Persian Gulf region could impair its energy supplies as it is a significant importer of oil from both nations.

Furthermore, reliable trade channels and interregional collaboration are essential to China's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which aims to develop Eurasia's economic infrastructure. China aims to defend its economic investments and advance its regional influence by settling disputes and promoting stability.

With that in mind, a number of errors in judgement and poor policy choices are to blame for the deterioration of American credibility in the Middle East. Three key causes that have damaged America's reputation are:

Terminating the Oslo peace negotiations: The chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians were harmed and America's credibility as a fair mediator was undermined by allowing Israeli right-wingers to scrap the Oslo peace process.

Iraq war: The 2003 invasion of Iraq, which was conducted under false pretences, not only threw the nation into instability but also damaged America's reputation as a trustworthy player on the international stage. Significant lives were lost during the conflict, which also strained regional ties and prolonged the region's instability.

Improper management of Iran: The Trump administration adopted an incorrect strategy in its dealings with Iran, especially its decision to quit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement. By bringing Iran closer to Russia and China and isolating the United States, these steps further reduced American influence in the region.

As it happens, China's steady diplomatic strategy and practical interaction with regional entities continue to contribute to its increasing credibility as a mediator. China has been able to forge ties and win trust in the Middle East because of the BRI, which supports economic connectivity and development. China has established itself as a trustworthy mediator by emphasising mutually beneficial collaboration and avoiding political entanglements.

Due to its reliance on oil imports from both countries, China is aware that any conflict in the Persian Gulf region would be a threat to its economic interests. China has been able to broker talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia through diplomatic channels, utilising its economic clout and impartiality to bridge their differences.

Beyond Iran and Saudi Arabia, China has recently gained credibility as a broker of peace elsewhere. In line with its larger objective of settling disputes that could obstruct its Belt and Road Initiative, the nation has declared its willingness to arbitrate in other regional conflicts, such as Yemen and Sudan.


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