Shortly after the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced their normalization of relations, the Chinese foreign minister expressed opposition to peace deals between Israel and the Gulf states, calling instead for the resurrection of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and the creation of a mechanism for “collective security” in the Middle East. Addressing the UN Security Council in October, Wang backed down somewhat, instead making vague appeals to “good neighborliness” and promoting stability “without the intervention of biased non-Gulf players.” Tuvia Gering comments:
China views Donald Trump’s [diplomacy] in the Middle East and the recent breakthroughs in the Gulf as limiting its influence. . . . China seeks a multipolar alternative that challenges the Western-led “traditional security concept” enabled by “American hegemony” and [wishes] to replace it with a Chinese-led “shared security concept.”
Specifically, Beijing continues to support the Iran deal and reject sanctions against the Islamic Republic. China is expected to encourage the incoming Biden administration to rejoin the nuclear deal and end Trump’s strategy of “maximum pressure.”
For China, a U.S. military presence is necessary for keeping the Gulf calm, but the [Biden] administration’s skepticism of Egypt and Saudi Arabia (relating mainly to human rights) could force these countries to extend cooperation with their “comprehensive strategic partner,” China, in fields other than economy and trade. . . . Israel must do everything in its power to raise its concerns with the new administration in this regard. It would be a mistake to engage Iran at the expense of American regional security partners. Doing so would boost China’s foray into the region and undermine the positive momentum of the Abraham Accords.