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Beijing’s Curious Silence on the Syria Withdrawal

Michael Singh

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Wall Street Journal

January 8, 2019


China likely hoped to find economic opportunities in Syria's reconstruction—yet another example of how it relies on the security umbrella provided by U.S. troops in international conflict zones.

One of the more troubling yardsticks by which to measure President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria was the gratification it seemed to offer American adversaries. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the decision “correct,” and senior Iranian regime cleric Ayatollah Hassan Ameli asserted that it “hands [Syria] to Iran.” The state-run media of Syria’s Assad regime gloated predictably. Conspicuously quiet on the matter, however, was the country the U.S. increasingly regards as its chief rival—China. Beijing’s silence reveals how much, for all its bluster, it continues to rely on the U.S.-led international order to secure its own interests...

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