Expert: China military intervention in Middle East unlikely

Updated: 2016-04-22 10:29

By Wang Qingyun(

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An expert suggested Thursday that China will not carry out military intervention in the Middle East.

Li Shaoxian, head of an Arab research institute under Ningxia University, told a symposium that China probably won't send troops to fight the conflicts in the area.

The symposium, part of a dialogue between political parties of China and Arab countries held in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, focused on counterterrorism.

Li pointed out that just because China sent more peacekeeping troops to conflict-inflicted areas around the world than any other permanent member of the United Nations Security Council doesn't mean that the country will send combat troops to the Middle East.

"The peacekeeping missions should be authorized by the UN and invited by countries involved. And China's peacekeeping operations are non-aggressive," he said. "I personally don't think one can expect China to dispatch combat troops (to the Middle East)."

He also said China will not pick sides in Middle Eastern affairs, just like it doesn't on the Syrian issue.

However, China will be a force to push peace, stability and development in the Middle East, Li emphasized, pointing out that China's initiative to carry out international industrial capacity cooperation will help Arab countries to develop their industries.

"Right now is the historic stage where strengthened China-Arab cooperation is needed most urgently. The most important tasks for Arab countries are to maintain peace and development," he said. "Without peace, it's hard to talk about development. Without development, it's not possible to maintain peace."

Li made it clear that there is an important link between the situation in the Middle East and the stability of China's northwestern region, especially Xinjiang.

Zhang Jianwei, deputy head of the West Asia and North Africa bureau under the CPC Central Committee's International Department, said: "China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council as well as a victim to terrorism. Thus we will not give up our responsibility in cracking down on terrorism."

He said China is willing to cooperate with Arab countries in various areas, including politics, economy, security and cultural exchanges, to deal with the challenge of terrorism.