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Politics & Law

How China may benefit from Trump’s pullout from the Iran deal


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Chinese FM Wang Yi
(picture from The BRICS Post)

Almost all the leading mainstream media across the Atlantic Ocean express worries about the U.S.-Europe ties after President Trump announced his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on May 8.

The influential der Spiegel of Germany says “Trump strikes a deep blow to Trans-Atlantic ties”. The Observer editorial at the Guardian talks about “Europe’s duty to confront Donald Trump over Iran”.

In addition to the phrase of “deepens US-Europe Divide”, the Atlantic Magazine in the United States even suggests that in Europe, “Standing Up to America is now Patriotic”.

One of the most pessimistic commentaries, perhaps, is by John Lloyd at the University of Oxford that “Trump’s Iran nuclear decision ends era in US-Europe ties”.

In fact, “European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced Thursday (May 17) that the bloc plans to reactivate a law that would seek to prevent European companies from complying with any sanctions the US may reintroduce against Iran.”

Given this deterioration of the U.S.-Europe relationship, three correspondents at the Foreign Policy report that since “Trump is threatening Europe’s foreign-policy sovereignty” and if “those longtime allies are deliberately cast aside,” according to “former U.S. officials and Western diplomats”, then “China and Russia will likely be the beneficiaries.”

The question coming to us is how China may benefit, alongside the business as usual trading and political connections. Fortunately, it so happens that a Washington Post reporter holds a similar view as mine so that I may be able to be free of being suspected as a CCP propagandist again. The Berlin-based Rick Noach in his conclusion says that:

“… If Europe turns to Chinese know-how to circumvent U.S. sanctions, the United States might find that the country being isolated in this situation is not Iran after all, but itself.”

I would like to add that the “know-how’ would be more than what are needed to “circumvent U.S. sanctions”. In short, I reckon that Iran would become a starting point and platform of all sorts for the European nations to collaborate with China with the total absence of the United States, so much so that they would work out something new to build up trading norms, technical standards or alike in and for the Third World.

These ‘something’ may be technology, may be terms of trade, may be joint ventures, may be direct currency quotes without USD …… by making better use of such existing vehicles as the China-Finland ICT Alliance (since 2009), ‘Industrie 4.0’ (since 2014) and the China-Italy Technology Transfer Centre (since 2016).

Furthermore, most importantly, it may be a gradual build up of mutual trust for making political deals starting from the soil of Iran.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

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About keith K C Hui

Keith K C Hui is a Chinese University of Hong Kong graduate major in Government and Public Administration and the author of "Helmsman Ruler: China's Pragmatic Version of Plato's Ideal Political Succession System In The Republic" (2013).

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