China Working to Boost Role in Middle East
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered remarks in Beijing on July 10 at the eighth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Xi’s basic message to the representatives from 21 Arab nations and to the secretary general of the Arab League was that China seeks to become more involved in the Middle East.
He stressed the importance of Sino-Arab relations, saying, “Arab states and China are natural partners.”
Xi also emphasized to the Arab representatives the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative, a Chinese project aiming to rebuild the ancient Silk Road trade route by enhancing connectivity and transport infrastructure along the thousands of miles between China and Europe, including a route through the Middle East. “Belt and Road cooperation has energized every dimension of Sino-Arab relations and propelled Sino-Arab all-around cooperation into a new phase,” Xi said.
He announced that a China-Arab cooperation statement would be signed to accelerate progress on the Belt and Road Initiative. “This marks a new historical starting point of Sino-Arab friendship and cooperation,” he said.
Xi said China and the Arab world should strengthen their strategic trust and said he would invite hundreds of scientists and political and religious figures from these Arab countries to visit China over the next three years. He promised to give $15 million in direct aid to the Palestinian people and said China will give $20 billion in loans to help Arab states in economic reconstruction, adding, “China is determined to become the keeper of peace and stability in the Middle East.”
Since China does not have a history of colonialism or deep engagement in Middle East affairs, as do many of the other modern global powers, it represents itself as a friend to all nations in the region, and as an enemy to none. As Xi said at a speech to the Arab League in January 2017, “Instead of looking for a proxy in the Middle East, we promote peace talks. … [I]nstead of seeking any sphere of influence, we call on all parties to join the circle of friends for the Belt and Road Initiative; instead of attempting to fill the ‘vacuum,’ we build a cooperative partnership network for win-win outcomes.”
It is clear that Xi is critical of the forays the traditional powers have made into the Middle East and that he hopes to capitalize on China’s unique position of “neutrality” to increase its influence there. The Belt and Road Initiative is bringing improved connectivity in the Middle East and beyond—and is setting the stage for increased China-Europe cooperation. It is also setting the stage for the rapid fulfillment of specific Bible prophecies.
Isaiah 23 forecasts that a “mart of nations,” an enormous economic partnership, will form in our lifetime. Leading the partnership will be Chittim (an ancient name for modern China) and Tyre (a city representing modern Europe’s commercial center). Alongside other Bible passages, Isaiah 23 shows that these economic powerhouses will work together to control global trade for a brief time.
Deuteronomy 28:52 shows that this “mart of nations” partnership will operate at America’s expense. “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” Other passages of scripture such as Habakkuk 1 show that the power besieging America will be a German-led European conglomerate. Isaiah 23 shows that this European entity will accomplish this prophesied besiegement with China’s cooperation.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision: “The Bible contains many prophecies of that European power attacking America—and many other prophecies of America being besieged.
“That is where China and the giants of Asia enter the picture. When the [European power] attacks North America, there will be no help or sympathy from Asia.” Instead, Asia will likely help in the attack. The fact that “China has come to possess most of the world’s strategic sea gates,” Mr. Flurry writes, shows that “there may be a brief alliance between the German-led Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers ….”
He continues: “Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations ….”
The importance of China’s growing influence in the Middle East is revealed in these Bible prophecies. In the near term, these developments point to a grim future for America and some of its allies. But the “mart of nations” and the looming conflict associated with it will be followed by the most hope-filled era in mankind’s history. Mr. Flurry writes: “[W]hat a dynamic market of nations it is. All of them are going to besiege America, Britain and the Jewish nation. … But that trading partnership won’t last long. Soon they will clash, just before Jesus Christ returns and destroys both of them” (ibid).
China’s growing power in the Middle East is leading to the return of Jesus Christ. He will bring a decisive end to the chaos and usher in an age of peace for the people of China, the Middle East and the whole world.
To understand more, read Mr. Flurry’s inspiring booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.