On January 23, 2016, Xi Jinping, Secretary General of the Communist Party of China, Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, and President of the People’s Republic of China, met with Syed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, President of the Islamic Encyclopedia Foundation, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Supreme Leader of Islamic Republic. It was after this meeting that the “25-year strategic agreement between Iran and China” was first discussed in the media. Today, nearly five years later, the regime is yet to make a statement other than general points, propaganda, and denials about this long-term deal that is crucial to the people and history of Iran.
Parts of this contract were revealed by a member of parliament’s presidium in March 2019, three years after that date. But it was the British “Petroleum Economist” website that first revealed the controversial details of the deal on September 3, 2019. The Petroleum Economist wrote that the agreement, signed in 2016, included a $ 400 billion Chinese investment in oil, gas and petrochemical industries, as well as transportation. A large part of the investment was to be injected into the oil and gas industry in the first five years. China would buy Iranian oil, with a currency other than US dollar and a two-year payment deadline, two-thirds in cash and one-third in goods and services. Iran will give China huge discounts (30%) and allow it to deploy 5,000 troops to protect its “investments” in Iran. In addition, Chinese companies would be prioritized in all projects. On Monday, July 6, 2020, Simon Watkins wrote a piece on OilPrice claiming the 25-year strategic agreement between Iran and China was not just an agreement to expand economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, but have much broader aspects which could mess up the geopolitical balance of the Middle East. The development of Iran’s military facilities and equipment has been handed over to China, according to Oil Price, and Russia and China will be allowed to operate and use Iran’s military infrastructure and facilities. Since the reports were published in the media, the Islamic Republic has always denied them, without informing the public of the agreement details.
Regardless of the accuracy of these reports, what is at the center of this article is studying of the People’s Republic of China approach, its other policies and agreements with other countries, and its long-term goals.
Determining Rules of the Game
Recently, a document titled “China Standards 2035” found its way into the media, revealing the hegemonic ambitions of the Chinese Communist Party. The document states that China intends to define and set new global standards by 2035, meaning in 15 years, in the fields of biotechnology and information technology. Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and next-generation technologies are areas of activity that are currently growing without global standards. Countries or companies that globally determine and dictate industrial standards to other countries and companies in these technologies will, in the near future, be the ones to control the levers, and therefore dominate. “We’re moving towards a world where everything will be interconnected – the world of the Internet of Things,” said Emily DE LA Bruyere, co-founder of Horizon Advisory and an expert on China. “In this world, everything will be connected by standard technologies. If these standards are set and determined by China, the point of interaction, or the ‘interface’, will be controlled by China.” For Beijing, this is not just an economic subject. The Communist Party “wants to determine the rules of the game in the future.” The important point in all these future technologies is to collect and process information and data. The one who sets the standard for this process will not only benefit economically. That is the one who controls the flow of information on a global scale. For China, this means unrestricted access to information about all industries, companies and institutions active in advanced technologies. Beijing’s ambitious intent, for example in the case of Huawei and the use of technology espionage, has been made clear to the public.
The China Standards 2035 project is directly related to another plan called “Made in China 2025”. In May 2015, Li Keqiang, the Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, introduced a strategic plan that from 2025 China will move from a factory producing cheap goods and copying with cheap labor to a leading country in modern industries such as aerospace and pharmaceuticals, information technology and semiconductor industries. Under this plan, the Chinese brand is set to become a brand for “innovation, superior quality” and “progress” on a global scale in at least 10 industries in 10 years.
But both of these long-term and ambitious plans of the Chinese Communist Party are only the first steps in a much more ambitious and long-term plan: the “Chinese Dream”!
The design and implementation of such long-term plans is a long tradition in the history of the Chinese Communist Party. In principle, the economic model of the People’s Republic of China is called “administrative command economy” or “planned economy”, which is dictated to the society and market by the Communist Party, in which all the power is concentrated in a compact and coherent manner. A model that is in direct conflict with everything we know about a free market economy. Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic of China, established the first steps of industrial China by using the Soviet Union as a model and widespread human rights abuses and sacrificing many lives. In the 1980s and 1990s, Deng Xiaoping applied a particular model of Chinese socialism with an open-door policy. But these structural reforms against Mao’s actions were nothing short of anti-human and criminal. The brutal and bloody repression of student protests in Tiananmen Square was a testament to the achievements of the reformed socialism, and the element of “long-term planning and economic dictation” remained at the heart of open-door policy. The Chinese Communist Party, led by Xi Jinping, has gone beyond China’s borders with the “Chinese Dream” program and is dreaming for the whole world, a dream that, like all other plans of this party, undoubtedly is vicious and violates basic human rights, will be dictated to the lower classes and nations from the party’s headquarters. According to the plan, by 2021, the 100-year-old anniversary of Chinese Communist Party, it will become a relatively prosperous society in which absolute poverty has no place, a poverty in which more than half of China’s billion population lived in the 1980s. For another 30 years, by 2050, when the People’s Republic of China celebrates its 100th anniversary, the Communist Party of China has drawn up a strategic plan which the per capita income of the Chinese would be comparable to the Western countries. To achieve this goal, China’s GDP with its current billion-plus population must be multiplied by that of the United States.
Chinese Dream or Region’s Nightmare?
The Chinese dream interpretation for the world is simple: China must become the world’s socialist superpower by the middle of the 21st century. “Until the middle of the 21st century, we will be upgrading our armed forces to the highest level in the world,” Xi Jinping explained the “Chinese Dream” plan clearly at the annual meeting of the Communist Party of China in 2017. Until then, China will lead the world in “all political, cultural, ethical, social and environmental issues.” By 2050, “China will become a world leader in innovation.” Over the next three decades, the international community will become a “society full of vitality, harmony and order.” These were just the highlights of Xi Jinping’s three-and-a-half-hour speech to prominent figures in the Chinese Communist Party with 90 million members. But these highlights provide a very clear picture of China’s approach to other countries and the international community. While the realistic plans of democracies are limited to legislative periods, the Chinese central government is implementing programs that have been designed for decades.
Knowing these facts about the general policies of the People’s Republic of China, any delusion about the consideration of “mutual interests” in the “25-year program of joint Iranian-Chinese cooperation” can only be due to ignorance or betrayal of national interests. China sees not only Iran – which is currently ruled by one of the world’s most corrupt regimes, in the weakest and most fragile political position for any international treaty, which would make it succumb to any indignity and disgrace in order to survive- but any other country in the world as a tool to achieve its geopolitical hegemonic goals. And to achieve these goals, as it has repeatedly shown in its own country and in the face of opposition forces among its own people and its sphere of governance, it does not shy away from committing any violence or crime.
Translation of this article by Sahar.
Cover: Joyce Lee, Chinese Dream, My Dream