The Times published an article which analyze any possible cooperation between China and Syria, in the light of the recent Syrian president visit to China.
The article was written by British Journalist and writer, Roger Boyes, who saw that Assad ranks low on the list of dictatorial rulers, and this isn’t because at least half a million Syrians were killed – before the organizations stopped counting – in the past ten years of Assad’s era, but rather because he emerged from that decade in a state that is broken and failure.
Boyes continued by saying that Assad has now begun to shine again in the sky of the club of dictatorial rulers, pointing to the welcome that the Syrian president recently received from his counterpart Xi Jinping in China, where the two sides agreed to establish a “strategic partnership”.
The devastation that Syria witnessed, whether as a result of the war or the devastating earthquake that struck parts of it last February, left the country in dire need of massive and profitable reconstruction work.
China was concerned after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden announced at the recent G20 summit a trade route linking India to Europe via the Middle East.
Boyes noted that this new trade route is a competitor to the Chinese “Belt and Road Initiative,” which Syria officially joined last year.
Boyes wondered about the possibility of Syria playing a role in confronting this new Western project, saying: Isn’t Damascus among Beijing’s most trusted Middle Eastern allies?
China had become accustomed to dictatorial rulers heading to it, the home of the Venezuelan and Iranian leaders who visited Beijing this year, hoping to obtain compensation after presenting themselves as victims of the American financial war.
Last week, Assad arrived in Beijing, and it’s unclear whether he can convince his Chinese counterpart to fund a Syrian renaissance.
Boyes believed that Assad could only achieve such a renaissance – which he promised to the Chinese and Russian presidents – by convincing millions of Syrians in the diaspora to return to their homeland to form a young and enthusiastic workforce.
But the Chinese President, according to Boyes, warns against too close a relationship with the Assad regime, and fears remorse if he extends a helping hand to this regime.
Solidarity with dictators is costly – and the experience of solidarity with Putin isn’t far away.
But the strongest obstacle to this close rapprochement between the government of Xi Jinping and the government of Bashar al Assad is that Assad has come to depend on the drug trade – especially the Captagon – as a source of income, according to Boyes.
The Chinese government’s political doctrine, for historical reasons related to the opium wars that took place in the 1840s and the addiction of Chinese youth, makes the country’s president think twice before establishing trade relations with countries that depend on the drug trade as a source of income.