Powered by WebAds

Sunday, February 14, 2010

China coming around on Iran sanctions?

Is China coming around on sanctions that would seek to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons? Maybe.
China's silence sometimes speaks volumes, and with growing international momentum for new sanctions on Iran, Beijing's recent reticence suggests it may give ground if it can insulate its oil and business ties.

China has repeatedly said in recent months that expanded U.N. sanctions on Iran are not the way to draw Tehran into serious talks about curtailing its uranium enrichment programme, which Western powers say could lay the groundwork for a nuclear weapons capability.

Not of late.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi last week urged more diplomacy with Iran, but did not say whether China backed or opposed fresh sanctions.

At two Chinese Foreign Ministry briefings this week, spokesman Ma Zhaoxu avoided extensive comment, positive or negative, about the sanctions proposed by the West.

"On sanctions, our position has been consistent and clear," Ma told reporters on Thursday. "We are willing, together with the international community, to continue playing a constructive role in pushing for a resolution of the Iran nuclear issue."


"China's silence says it isn't strongly opposed to a new United Nation's resolution," said Yin Gang, an expert on the Middle East at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a prominent state think-tank in Beijing.

"Given Iran's increasingly hard line on the nuclear issue, China feels it can't stand in the way of some sort of international response," he added.
But don't expect China to back any response that is likely to be effective. While China may fear an Israeli attack on Iran, it fears losing its oil supply more. It will back sanctions that are just enough to prevent an Israeli attack, but which aren't likely to be enough to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program.


Post a Comment

<< Home