Has a crisis been avoided in relations between the United States and one of its closest allies in the Middle East? Today (Friday) The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. intelligence agencies have learned that China is secretly building a facility, apparently military, in the UAE, which in recent years has become a close ally of the U.S. in the Middle East. The remarks were made to the newspaper by knowledgeable sources. Following the discovery, the Biden administration approached the country from the Gulf and warned it that a Chinese presence in its territory could threaten ties between the countries. After several meetings between the parties, construction of the facility was halted.
According to US intelligence warnings, the Chinese have begun construction of a facility at a port near Abu Dhabi. Sources who revealed the issue told the Wall Street Journal that “it appears that the UAE, which hosts U.S. military forces and purchases advanced fighter jets from America, was unaware of the military nature of Chinese operations.”
According to various publications, the Middle East has become a significant battlefield between the United States and China, with the Chinese strengthening economic ties with the UAE in recent years, and apparently taking advantage of those ties to build a military facility near Abu Dhabi.
Already about a year ago, according to the publication, various reports began to reach U.S. officials that the Chinese were conducting “suspicious activity” at the port in question. A military facility was indeed built, and upon learning of this, the Biden administration approached the United Arab Emirates and began diplomatic efforts to convince the Emirates that the site had a military purpose and that they should stop construction on the site.
A spokesman for the UAE in Washington told the Wall Street Journal: “The UAE has never had an agreement, plan, discourse or intention to allow the construction of a Chinese military base or military outpost of any kind.”
In light of China’s presence in the Emirates, President Biden himself spoke with Abu Dhabi’s regent in May and August once again, expressing concern that “the emirates’ partnership with China could have detrimental effects on ties with the United States.”
According to sources, in late September, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and another senior official presented the UAE with a detailed presentation with all the intelligence information the Americans had gathered about the site. In addition, according to the newspaper, the Americans even recently toured the site and were convinced that construction had stopped.
As a result, according to officials, relations between the United States and the United Arab Emirates are back on track. However, Anwar President-elect Anwar Grashash has expressed concern that the country is stuck in the middle of the conflict between China and the US: “We are all very concerned about the coming cold war. This is bad news for everyone, because the idea chosen between the countries is problematic in the international system. “