Chinese experts conduct video epidemic prevention guidance in Baghdad, Iraq, March 11, 2020. (Xinhua/Khalil Dawood)
Against the backdrop of deteriorating China-US ties, it is a common practice for US media to slander China, and now their new trick is to combine geopolitical issues with public health issues to smear China, analysts said.
The US used to be the single dominant force in the Middle East but has now shifted its focus to the Indo-Pacific region and the Asia-Pacific region. However, it is unwilling to see China and countries in the Middle East expanding cooperation, especially when the Middle East has recognized China and its assistance without political conditions, Li Weijian, vice president of Middle East Institute of China, told the Global Times.
The US is also wary about its values being challenged and China’s increasing soft power while China has gained more recognition for its development patterns amid this pandemic, Li said.
The status of the pandemic in China and other countries has shifted, but some Western countries refuse to recognize this since they gloated over China’s epidemic and criticized its social system. However, China has put the domestic epidemic under control and started to help other countries and regions.
“China has no history of colonization or missionary work of spreading religion in the Middle East. We also emphasize that the Belt and Road Initiative is not exporting China’s development model to the Middle East, which may not be suitable for locals, but sharing China’s development experience,” Liu Zhongmin, a professor at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, told the Global Times.
“China does not want to build a sphere of influence in the Middle East and does not cultivate its own proxies,” Liu said.