BEIJING: China and the United States risk deepening rifts over influence and oil in the Middle East, Beijing’s former envoy to the region has said, urging his nation to bolster ties with Iran and other energy-exporting powers.
Sun Bigan was China’s special envoy on the Middle East until March, and in a new essay he said US President Barack Obama’s effort to improve ties with Islamic states in the Middle East was a tactical shift that had not removed the potential for friction between Washington and Beijing in the region.
“The US has always sought to control the faucet of global oil supplies. There is cooperation between China and the US, but there is also struggle, and the US has always seen us as a potential foe,” he wrote in the September issue of “Asia & Africa Review”, which reached subscribers this week.
“Bilateral quarrels and clashes are unavoidable.” he added.