Secretary of State Clinton, speaking in Paris, warned China today that it risks diplomatic isolation and disruption to its energy supplies unless it helps keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Clinton’s remarks are part of a broader pattern according to which she and other American officials respond to China’s refusal to agree to further sanctions by lecturing China about what its interests are.
Given the relative successes of the two countries’ recent foreign policies in the Middle East, it is no wonder that China does not appear to be listening.
China understands very well its interest in facilitating positive relations with Iran and the risks that supporting a U.S. policy of confrontation may pose.
For a comprehensive study of China’s relations with Iran, consult Moving (Slightly) Closer to Iran: China’s Shifting Strategic Calculus for Managing Its Persian Gulf Dilemma, a monograph co-authored by John Garver, Flynt Leverett, and Hillary Mann Leverett this past Fall.
– Ben Katcher