By Richard Fisher
China has used disinformation to conceal its role in promoting conflict with Iran in the wake of the spike in Persian Gulf and even global military tensions following the Jan. 3 American drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq, that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.
Two days later, on Jan. 5, Chinese state media organ Global Times stated:
“China won’t use proxy warfare in the Middle East or coerce countries in the region to choose sides. China’s joint naval drill with Russia and Iran is not an attempt to seek its sphere of influence, pursue military expansion, or fight against other countries in the region. China is seeking amity with all Middle Eastern countries, engage in cooperation with them and contribute to regional security.”
These claims are all false; since the 1980s China has been a principle backer of Iran’s radical Islamic regime, providing decades of military technology and assistance, while becoming the principle source of foreign revenues as the largest customer for Iran’s petroleum.
Iran, in turn, gives Chinese weapons to terrorist groups in Lebanon and Yemen, which respectively, are fighting Israel and Saudi Arabia.
On Sept. 14, 2019, Iran attacked Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia with cruise missiles. However, the Iranian cruise missile used in the attack was previewed in a Feb. 17, 2018 Iranian TV report from Imam Hossien University, shown next to Chinese missile designs.
The Iranian cruise missile was similar to the Chinese Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) C-705 export cruise missile. CASIC has a longstanding record of cruise missile sales to Iran.
After the Sept. 14, 2019 Iranian attack and before the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike, China had sought to position itself as Iran’s defender. On Dec. 27, 2019, a Chinese Navy Type 052D missile destroyer joined a Russian Navy frigate in exercising with Iranian Navy ships. . . .