During the Middle East Security Conference held in Beijing on November 27 and 28, 2019, the first session was about the importance of justice and fairness to achieve sustainable security in the Middle East. Major General (Retired) Sayed Ghoneim presented his view on the most important challenges facing security and stability in the Middle East in relation to justice and fairness.
Ghoneim was ready with a stereotypical speech, which included the seriousness of external interference, greed and hegemony by states towards another on a side, and the states that ruled by bad governments, whether failed or corrupted governments on another side. But the speeches of some former senior Iranian, Turkish and Arab officials seemed to the attendees as a kind of hypocrisy, as their speeches were built on the demonization of the West and the angelism of China. They seemed that had not learned from history.
Ghoneim decided to ignore his short speech that he prepared, delivering his new speech from his head in Arabic saying:
I will speak from a different angle touching on two points:
First point: We all know that security and stability can be achieved by justice and fairness, whether justice and fairness of states towards international and regional issues by not duplicating standards, and not interfering in other countries’ affairs or conspiring against other country. Internally because of corruption, injustice and non-commitment to equality. In addition to the disrespect the human rights, law enforcement, non-discrimination between people and individuals and other matters.
However, I decided to talk about a third most important dimension which is rivalry between the great powers and the rivalry between the regional powers and the actor states in the Middle East.
In fact, I see the People’s Republic of China, which has become a great power and I carry for it all due respect, I frankly see it working towards this intense rivalry, which negatively affects security and stability the Middle East.
We all know that the U.S. is a country that seeks to achieve its interests, whatever the results, and it’s currently involved in economic rivalry against the European Union and in political, security and military rivalries against Russia. The U.S. is also in a fiercer economic rivalry against China called the trade war. Obviously, the Middle east region is the theater and the people of its countries are the losers. I’m sure that China would prefer to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
The second point: we must not build love on hatred; it is strange to build (as Middle Eastern peoples) our love and acceptance of China on our hatred of the U.S. or any others country. The U.S acknowledges its endeavors to secure a world order in line with its strategic goals. But the U.S., as China and Russia accuse it spreading their domination over the world and intervening in internal affairs of several countries, the U.S. also accuses China of malice and of seeking to dominate the world by other way, which is dumping several countries in debt and accuses Russia of spreading fake news and playing dirty games against the U.S., UK, Sweden and other several countries in East Europe and other regions, on the other hand, the European Union fears of falling between the two parts of the hegemony of the U.S. and China.
I also remember the time when Egypt and other countries moved from Soviet dependency to American dependency. They all put the Soviet Union in the position of Satan and started to talk about American freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and its economic openness as if America was an angel descended from heaven. Today China became the angel and the U.S. is the Satan; tomorrow other great power will be the angel and China will be the Satan, and so on. Countries moving from dependence of a great power to dependence of another.
From the above I recommend the following:
First, the need to stop the bleeding of Sino-American rivalry, shifting to negotiation, and perhaps the conception of a new bilateral (China / US) Great 2 (G2) managing interests and influence between both.
Second, some of the Arab countries are in need to emerge from the status of transfer of dependency from one great power to another and the transition to independence as countries worthy of partnership, which can only be achieved by the fact that each Arab country has a clear comprehensive strategy, and that there are real Arab regional alliances that achieve their common interests, and stop rivaling.